Plants spreading to erect, 0.5-3(-5) × 0.5-3 dm, thinly pubescent, often with appressed hairs, infrequently somewhat strigose or glabrate. Leaves basal; petiole 0.5-2 cm; blade oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic or spatulate, (1-)1.5-3(-4) × 0.1-1 cm, pubescent. Inflorescences green; bracts 2, similar to proximal leaf blades only more reduced, 0.3-1(-1.5) cm × 1-2.5 mm, becoming sessile and scalelike at distal nodes, linear, acicular, awns 0.2-0.5 mm. Involucres 1, green, 3-5 mm, not corrugate, thinly strigose; teeth divergent, 0.4-1.2 mm; awns uncinate, 0.2-0.5 mm. Flowers included; perianth greenish white to white or pale yellowish white, cylindric, 2-4 mm; tepals connate 3/ 4 their length, monomorphic, linear to narrowly oblanceolate, acute, entire apically; stamens slightly exserted; filaments distinct, 2-3.5 mm, glabrous; anthers white to pale yellow, ovate, 0.3-0.4 mm. Achenes dark brown, lenticular, 3-4 mm.
Chorizanthe brevicornu has stems and branches that easily disarticulate at the nodes. Dried specimens often are reduced to a mere jumble without careful handling. The vegetative fragments will not regenerate new plants, but the involucres (each with a single flower bearing a single achene) easily disarticulate from the parent plant, and with the aid of the awns on the teeth of the involucre, may be readily distributed.
Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Erect annual with several to numerous puberulent, greenish stems branching profusely from base often very brittle at nodes when mature. Leaves: Mostly basal, petiolate, oblanceolate-spatulate, 3-6 cm long, strigose-puberulent, bracts foliaceous at lower nodes, acerose above, acerose ones 3-6 mm long, reddish. Flowers: Involucres solitary in axils, 3-angled, 6 ribbed toward apex of puberulent tube, this 3.5-6 mm long, somewhat falcately curved, 6-toothed, teeth short, subequal, 1 mm long or less, uncinate; perianths short-pedicellate, 3-4 mm long, almost or completely included, greenish yellow, lobes similar, linear-oblong, about 1 mm long, 3 stamens inserted at base of perianth tube, opposite inner lobes. Fruits: Achenes slightly curved, slightly exserted. Ecology: Found on sandy desert slopes, flats, and washes below 2,500 ft (762 m); flowers March-May. Distribution: WA and ID to AZ, UT, and CA Notes: This species is often recognizable by its diffuse branching, largely devoid of leaves, and what leaves there are they are often very reduced. Can be confused in a small measure in appearance with Nemacladus glanduliferus, but pay attention to the ocrea in C. brevicornu and you will have no problem. Ethnobotany: Unknown, but other species in the genera has use. Etymology: Chorizanthe comes from Greek chorizo, to divide, and anthos flower, referring to the divided calyx, while brevicornu means short-horned. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley, 2010