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Frankenia jamesii
Frankenia jamesii
Frankenia jamesii  (Frankenia)
Frankeniaceae (Frankenia Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Open Gypsum and Mancos shale soils. Summer.
Above and left: Angel Peak National Recreation Area, New Mexico, June 3, 2010.

The Frankeniaceae Family is, according to William Weber, "a very ancient family now consisting of four genera of very salt-tolerant heath-like plants.  Frankenia, the largest genus, is found widely scattered on seashores and salt deserts in Australia, the Mediterranean region, southern South America, and southwestern North America.  The family must have been once much more diversified and widely distributed, but its evolution and dispersal remains a puzzle".

This unusual plant is found in open, barren-seeming Gypsum and Mancos Shale.  It often occurs, as shown in the photograph at the top of this page, in large colonies. 

The genus was named by Linnaeus in 1753 and this species was named by John Torrey in 1873 from a collection made by Charles Wright in the El Paso area in 1849.

The family and genus names honor Johannes Franckenius, 17th century Swedish botanist and the specific epithet honors Edwin James, renown 19th century American botanist.  (Click for more biographical information about Franckenius and click again for more biographical information about James).

Frankenia jamesii

Frankenia jamesii  (Frankenia)
Frankeniaceae (Frankenia Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Open Gypsum and Mancos shale soils. Summer.
Angel Peak National Recreation Area, New Mexico, June 3, 2010.

Frankenia jamesii
Frankenia jamesii  (Frankenia)
Frankeniaceae (Frankenia Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Open Gypsum and Mancos shale soils. Summer.
Angel Peak National Recreation Area, New Mexico, June 3, 2010.

Flower petals are bright white and narrow at their base to fit into the tight base of the untied sepals.  Stamens are in two groups, three long and three short and the style has three terminal branches.

Leaves are short, narrow, and often rolled inward.

 

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

Frankenia jamesii

Range map for Frankenia jamesii