[Cryptanths: The Genus Cryptantha East of
the Cascade Mts. of Oregon and Washington]
Cockscomb Cryptantha, Buttecandle, Northern Cryptantha, Sheldon's Oreocarya, Cockscomb Oreocarya
Synonyms: Cryptantha sheldonii, Oreocarya celosioides, Oreocarya sheldonii
A close-up of the inflorescence of cockscomb cryptanth as seen along the Domingo Pass Road near the eastern base of the Pueblo Mountains of southeastern Oregon.........May 31, 2012.
photo to the right illustrates the stem leaves of cockscomb cryptantha as seen
at Cottonwood Creek on the east side of the Pueblo Mts., southeastern Oregon.......May
Also northern cryptantha, cockscomb cryptantha is a relatively
attractive borage with one to several fairly stout stems from 10-50 cm high.
The middle stem of this biennial or short-lived perennial is usually the largest.
The herbage is fairly well hairy and bristly, with the bristles on the lower
basal leaves appressed while those above the ground are more spreading. The
basal leaves are tufted and noticeable at flowering with spatulate or broadly,
oblanceolate leaves with rounded tips. The leaves range from 2-8 cm long and
4-15 mm wide. The leaves along the stem are reduced in size upwards on the stem.
The inflorescence is an elongated panicle with numerous, tightly-packed,
large and showy flowers. The inflorescence opens with the clusters separating
as it matures. The calyx is up to 10-12 mm long in fruit and is covered with
both woolly and stiff long hairs. The petals are white with the limb 8-12 mm
wide. The tube is roughly the same length as the calyx.
Cockscomb cryptantha is a plant of dry open fields in the plains
and foothills. It is generally found at lower elevations but may be found to
moderate elevations in the mountains.
Cockscomb cryptantha may be found from southern British Columbia
south to the east of the Cascades to eastern Oregon and east through northern
Idaho, Montana, North Dakota and Nebraska to southern Alberta.
Cockscomb cryptanth blooming along the highway at a pass west of Long Creek, Oregon..........May 27, 2014.
Cockscomb cryptanth as seen on serpentine outcrops along US Highway 395 near milepost 12 to the south of John Day Oregon........June 23, 2011. The similar Snake River cryptanth
) is also found in the area and one needs to look at the achenes of both species to definitively identify one from the other, so there is a chance this could be the latter species since that wasn't done.
Basal leaves of cockscomb cryptantha as seen on gravel slopes above the John Day River along Oregon Highway 19 near milepost 80 in central Oregon........April 8, 2007.
Additional photos of cockscomb cryptantha as seen on gravelly slopes along Oregon Highway 19 west of Service Creek, Oregon.......June 2, 2011.
Additional images of cockscomb cryptanth as seen along the Domingo Pass Road near the eastern base of the Pueblo Mountains of southeastern Oregon........May 31, 2012.
The photo above shows the bristly hairs on
the margin of a stem leaf of cockscomb cryptantha as seen along US Highway 26
east of Mitchell, OR.........May 24, 1998.
Cockscomb cryptantha from Maryhill WA, eastern Columbia River
Gorge.............May 5, 2001.
The photo above shows cockscomb cryptantha as seen along US Highway
26 east of Mitchell, OR.........May 24, 1998.