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Lappula redowskii

Lappula redowskii

Lappula redowskii

Lappula redowskii

Lappula redowskiiSynonym: Lappula marginata, Lappula occidentalis.(Redowski's Stickseed).
Boraginaceae (Forget-Me-Not Family)

Semi-desert. Openings. Spring.
McElmo Canyon, Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, March 27, 2005, March 13, 2015, and March 24, 2016.

Down on your belly to appreciate Lappula redowskii.  Numerous flowers, no more than a speck of blue or white, deck various angles of Lappula redowskii; horse collar-shaped seed pods are white then yellow (see top photograph) then black; soft, minutely, hairy leaves and stems often have a tint of maroon; stem leaves are cupped and nearly vertical. 

Where you find one plant, you will usually find many, for the seeds are very successful at germinating.

The second photograph at left shows one inch tall plants flowering in very early spring. Lappula is one of the very first spring flowers.

The third photograph at left shows a myriad of hairs perpendicular to the stem and leaves. Look at the appearance of the hairs along the edges of the leaves and stems and then look at the leaf surface that the arrow points to. The hairs that the arrow points to appear flattened against the leaf and much shorter than the hairs at the edges of the leaves and stems. They are, though, the same as the other hairs: vertical and just as long.

Also notice how easy it is to see the length, shape, and position of the hairs when they are brightly illuminated by the sun. At the bottom center of the photograph, bright sunlight shows all the characteristics of the hairs very clearly even though we are looking at the hairs head-on, just as we are at the hairs the arrow points to. The moral? When you use your hand lens (or naked eye, or camera) get sun on the subject and look at edges.

Weber indicates that there are characteristics that separate this genus into several species in the Four Corners area; John Kartesz, ultimate authority for plant names in this web site, indicates that we have one species, L. redowskii, with several varieties, L. redowskii variety redowskii and L. redowskii variety cupulata (formerly L. occidentalis and L. marginata).

"Lapp" is Latin for "bur". "Ivan Redowskii was a Russian botanist. (Click for more biographical information about Redowskii).

Lappula redowskii
Lappula redowskiiSynonym: Lappula marginata, Lappula occidentalis. (Redowski's Stickseed).
Boraginaceae (Forget-Me-Not Family)

Semi-desert. Openings. Spring.
McElmo Canyon, Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, March 27, 2005.

Lappula redowskii
Lappula redowskiiSynonym: Lappula marginata, Lappula occidentalis. (Redowski's Stickseed).
Boraginaceae (Forget-Me-Not Family)

Semi-desert. Openings. Spring.
McElmo Canyon, Canyon of the Ancients National Monument, March 27, 2005.

Inflated margins of the nutlets are horse-collar works of art.  Everyone "oohs" and "ahhs" when they look at these nutlets though a hand lens.

Lappula redowskii
Lappula redowskiiSynonym: Lappula marginata, Lappula occidentalis. (Redowski's Stickseed).
Boraginaceae (Forget-Me-Not Family)

Semi-desert, foothills, montane. Openings. Spring.
Chaco Canyon National Historic Park, New Mexico, April 11, 2007.

The Anasazi surely found these early spring flowers leaning against these same Chaco walls.  This Lappula grows to sixteen inches tall, as here, branches often, flowers copiously, and is covered in fine hairs.

The plant was first named Echinospermum redowskii variety occidentalis by Sereno Watson in the late 1800s and was given its present name by Edward Greene in 1899.

Lappula redowskii
Lappula redowskiiSynonym: Lappula marginata, Lappula occidentalis. (Redowski's Stickseed).
Boraginaceae (Forget-Me-Not Family)

Semi-desert, foothills, montane. Openings. Spring.
Chaco Canyon National Historic Park, New Mexico, April 11, 2007.

Flowers are blue-white, numerous, and no more than a quarter inch tall and wide.

Lappula redowskii

Lappula redowskii

Lappula redowskii

Lappula redowskii

Lappula redowskiiSynonym: Lappula marginata, Lappula occidentalis. (Redowski's Stickseed).
Boraginaceae (Forget-Me-Not Family)

Semi-desert, foothills, montane. Openings. Spring.
Chaco Canyon National Historic Park, New Mexico, April 11, 2007.
Fisher Tower Trail, Utah, April 15, 2008
Butler Wash, Utah, April 22, 2015.

The anemone-like seed pods will dry and be carried away on animal fur and human clothing.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key
Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Lappula redowskii