Plants annual, taprooted. Stems 2 or more from each rosette, spreading to ascending, 2-11 cm. Leaves basal and cauline; basal in single, prostrate rosette; blade spatulate, 1-3 cm. Inflorescences paniculate or racemose scorpioid cymes, becoming secund, open to dense. Flowers subsessile; sepals ovate, orbiculate, or reniform, unequal, 2-5 mm, margins scarious; petals 3(-4), white or pinkish, 1.5-3 mm; stamens 1-3, anther yellow; style absent; stigmas 2. Capsules ovoid to cylindric, 3-7 mm; valves 2. Seeds 10-15, black, orbicular, 0.6-0.7 mm, shiny. 2n = 44.
Annual herbs to 10 cm tall. STEMS: spreading to ascending. LEAVES: in an ephemeral basal rosette, spatulate, up to 7.5 cm long. INFLORESCENCE: a 1-sided raceme, to 4.5 cm long; bracts ovate to elliptic. FLOWERS: sessile; sepals scarious or scarious-margined, ovate, 1.5-5 mm long; petals 3, white to pinkish, 1.5-3 mm long; stamens 1-3; styles absent; stigmas 2, sessile. CAPSULE: with 2 valves, ovoid to cylindric, 2-8 mm long, not more than twice as long as sepals. SEEDS: 5-15, black, tuberculate to smooth, dull to shiny. 4 vars. (1 in AZ); CA to UT . Var. arizonica (J.T. Howell) Kartesz & Gandhi (from Arizona). Arizona Pussypaws. —Seeds smooth, shiny. [Calyptridium parryi Gray var. arizonicum J.T. Howell]. NOTES: Sand and gravel washes, open areas: Graham, Pima, Pinal, Yavapai cos.; 800 - 1300 m (2600 -4200 ft); Feb. - May; CA; Mex. (Baja C.). Allison Bair, Marissa Howe, Daniela Roth, Robin Taylor, Tina Ayers, and Robert W. Kiger., 2006, Vascular Plants of Arizona: Portulacaceae. CANOTIA 2(1): 1-22.
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Annual herb to 10 cm tall, stems spreading to ascending. Leaves: Ephemeral basal rosette, spatulate, to 7.5 cm long. Flowers: Inflorescence 1-sided raceme to 4.5 cm long, bracts ovate to elliptic, sessile flowers, sepals scarious or scarious-margined, ovate, 1.5-5 mm long, 3 petals, white to pinkish, 1.5-3 mm long, stamens 1-3, stiles absent, 2 sessile stigmas. Fruits: Capsule with 2 valves, ovoid to cylindric, 2-8 mm long, not more than twice as long as sepals. Ecology: Found in sand and gravel washes and open areas from 2,500-4,500 ft (762-1372 m); flowers February-May. Notes: This variety is somewhat up for questioning. The voucher from the inventory at Tumacacori indicates this as var. parryi, however that variety is only found in California, up to this point. This description essentially follows the species description for both, as the only difference is that the seeds in the var. arizonica are smooth and shiny. Ethnobotany: Unknown for this species, other species used for food. Etymology: Cistanthe parryi for Charles Parry (1823-1890) a naturalist on the Mexican Boundary Survey. Synonyms: Calyptridium parryi, Calyptridium parryi var. parryi Editor: SBuckley, 2010