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Allionia incarnata

Allionia incarnata

Allionia incarnata
Allionia incarnata  (Trailing Windmills)
Nyctaginaceae (Four O'Clock Family)

Semi-desert.  Openings. Spring, summer.
Above: Lower Butler Wash, Utah, April 20, 2017 and Behind the Rocks Wilderness Study Area, Utah, April 23, 2006.
Left: Behind the Rocks Wilderness Study Area, Utah, April 23, 2006.

As the photograph immediately above shows, stems of Allionia incarnata spread radially (sometimes to over three feet) from a central root crown. Leaves can be up to an inch long, they become smaller toward the end of the stems, and their surface can be glabrous to pubescent to, as shown here, viscid. 

Linnaeus named this genus in 1753 and species in 1759.  "Allionia" is for Carlo Allioni, 1725-1804, Italian botanist.  "Incarnata" is Latin for "flesh colored", for the color of the fried flower that Linnaeus saw.  (More biographical information about Carlo Allioni.)

Allionia incarnata
Allionia incarnata (Trailing Windmills)
Nyctaginaceae (Four O'Clock Family)

Semi-desert.  Openings. Spring.
Behind the Rocks Wilderness Study Area, Utah, April 23, 2006.

Sand clings to the densely glandular leaves, buds, and stems. Despite the dirt, this is a lovely plant which brightens open, sandy areas in Canyon Country.

Allionia incarnata
Allionia incarnata (Trailing Windmills)
Nyctaginaceae (Four O'Clock Family)

Semi-desert.  Openings. Spring.
Behind the Rocks Wilderness Study Area, Utah, April 23, 2006.

What appears to be a single flower of Allionia incarnata is actually three flowers blooming synchronously. The arrows point to the divisions between the three flowers, each of which has one petal-like structure which is lobed and arched backwards.

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 Allionia incarnata