Annuals. Stems unbranched or branched basally, branched distally, (1-)2-6(-8) dm. Basal leaves: petiole 1-4(-5) cm; blade lanceolate to linear-lanceolate, (2-)3-7(-10) cm × 4-15(-20) mm, base cuneate to attenuate, margins pinnately lobed to coarsely dentate. Cauline leaves: (proximalmost) petiole 1-4(-5) cm, (distalmost) shortly petiolate or subsessile; blade linear to narrowly lanceolate, base cuneate, margins usually entire, rarely dentate, or repand. Fruiting pedicels divaricate to slightly reflexed, (6-)8-14 (-22) mm. Flowers: sepals (2.5-)3-4 × 1-1.5 mm, pubescent abaxially; petals white or lavender, 4-7(-8) × (2.5-)3-4(-5) mm, attenuate to claw, claw 1-1.5 mm, expanded basally; filaments white, 2-3.5 mm; anthers 0.7-1 mm. Fruits: each valve usually transversely ovoid-oblong, rarely suborbicular, 4-5.5(-6) × (4-)5-7(-7.5) mm (often longer than wide), base slightly rounded, apex truncate, with or without narrow wing beyond indurated part surrounding seeds, glabrous or pubescent; style 0.5-1(-1.2) mm. Seeds suborbicular-ovoid, 2-3 × 1.5-2 mm. 2n = 18.
Flowering Feb-Oct. Sandy roadsides, sandstone knolls, sand hills and dunes, sandy streambeds and dry washes, desert flats; 1000-2200 m; Ariz., Colo., Nev., N.Mex., Tex., Utah; Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila).
FNA 2010, MacDougall 1973, Heil et al. 2013, Allred and Ivey 2012, Jepson eFlora (Al-Shehbaz 2017)
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Annual herbs, 20-60 cm tall, from a taproot; stems erect, usually unbranched; herbage densely pubescent with small stellate hairs, making stems and leaves appear grayish or whitish. Leaves: Basal leaves in a tuft, early withering; stem leaves alternate; blades lanceolate, 2.5-10 cm long, 3-12 mm wide, with sinuous, shallowly toothed edges and a prominent midvein. Flowers: Showy, white or sometimes lavender, in dense terminal racemes which elongate in fruit; sepals 4, spreading, densely pubescent, 2-4 mm long; petals 4 in a cross formation, 4-8 mm long, white or tinged purple. Fruits: Capsules didymous (resembling 2 round, flat pods joined together), 11-18 mm wide, glabrous or pubescent, with margins thick around the outermost edge; seeds one per locule, 3 mm long, round. Ecology: Found in dry, sandy areas, in washes, desert flats, hills and dunes, below 7,500 ft (2286 m); flowers February-October. Distribution: AZ and NM, also in neighboring regions of NV, UT, CO, and TX Ethnobotany: And infusion of the plant was taken for colds and sore throats. It was applied to the skin to treat various maladies, including sand cricket and centipede bites, swelling, itching, sores, wounds, and hemorrhoids; the plant was chewed by children to strengthen teeth and treat stomachaches. One entry stemming from the Hopi states that the plant, a powerful irritant, was used to play practical jokes on people by the plant being placed in the armpit. Etymology: Dimorphocarpa comes from di-, two, morph-, form or shape, and karpos, fruit, referring to the paired carpels of the seed pod; wislizeni honors Frederick Adolf Wislizenus (1810-1889), German explorer, botanist and plant collector. Synonyms: Biscutella wislizeni, Dithyrea griffithsii, Dithyrea wislizeni, Dithyrea wislizeni var. griffithsii Editor: LCrumbacher 2011, AHazelton 2017