CPC Plant Profile: Arizona Pussypaws
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Plant Profile

Arizona Pussypaws (Calyptridium arizonicum)

Photo Credit: Duncan S. Bell
  • Global Rank: T2 - Imperiled
  • Legal Status: N/A
  • Family: Portulacaceae
  • State: AZ, CA
  • Nature Serve ID: 145097
  • Date Inducted in National Collection: 10/29/2019

Annual with a slender taproot and both basal and cauline leaves. The basal leaves wither when the plant is in fruit. The inflorescenses have stout pedicles and ovate to elliptic bracts. Seeds are shiny with no papillae.  

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  • 09/01/2020
  • Orthodox Seed Banking

Based on an September 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, California Botanic Garden holds 1 accessions of Calyptridium arizonicum in orthodox seed collection. There are as many as 4321 seeds of this species in their collection - although some may have been used for curation testing or sent to back up.

  • 08/05/2020
  • Seed Collection

Based on an August 2020 extract of the California Plant Rescue Database, California Botanic Garden has collected 1 seed accessions of Calyptridium arizonicum from 1 plant occurrences listed in the California Natural Diversity Database. These collections together emcompass 51 maternal plants

Cheryl Birker
  • 10/30/2019

Although more common outside of California, Calyptridium arizonicum is only known from a single canyon in California. This canyon is located in the North Pinyon Mountains within Anza-Borrego Desert State Park, and it contains an OHV route and a hiking trail. Calyptridium arizonicum is highly threatened in California due to trampling from OHV and foot traffic.

In 2019 Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden made a conservation seed collection of Calyptridium arizonicum from California Natural Diversity Database Element Occurrence #1. This collection contains 4,321 seeds collected along maternal lines from 51 individuals. The germination test resulted in 27% germination after treating the seeds with Cape Super Smoke Plus Seed Primer.

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Taxon Calyptridium arizonicum
Authority (J. T. Howell) M. G. Simpson, M. Silveira, & Guilliams
Family Portulacaceae
CPC Number 47051
Common Names Arizona pussypaws
Associated Scientific Names Cistanthe parryi var. arizonica | Calyptridium arizonicum
Distribution Within California, Calyptridium arizonicum is limited to a single canyon in the North Pinyon Mountains of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. More common outside of California in southern Arizona and northwestern Mexico.
State Rank
State State Rank
California S1
Arizona SNR

Coarse, well- drained soils in desert scrub and washes.

Ecological Relationships

Common Name Name in Text Association Type Source InteractionID
Lead Institution State Reintroduction Type Year of First Outplanting

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