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FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 12 | Linaceae

29. Linum aristatum Engelmann in F. A. Wislizenus, Mem. Tour N. Mexico. 101. 1848.

Bristle or broom flax Bristle or broom flax

Herbs, annual, 10–45 cm, glabrous. Stems stiffly spreading-ascending, slender, broomlike, branched throughout. Leaves alternate or proximalmost opposite, proximal leaves spreading, distal leaves appressed-ascending; stipular glands usually present; blade linear, 5–20 × 0.3–1.1 mm, margins entire, not ciliate, apex acute. Inflorescences diffuse panicles, branches relatively long, stiffly spreading-ascending. Pedicels 6–30 mm, slender. Flowers: sepals deciduous, outer linear-lanceolate, 5.5–9 mm, apex attenuate, inner somewhat broader, shorter, margins narrowly scarious, glandular-toothed, apex awn-tipped; petals faintly maroon at base, otherwise yellow to yellow-orange throughout, obovate, 8–12 mm; stamens 5–7 mm; anthers 0.7–1.1 mm; staminodia absent; styles connate nearly to apex, 4.5–7 mm; stigmas capitate. Capsules narrowly ellipsoid, 3.5–4.5 × 2.5–3 mm, thin-walled, apex obtuse, dehiscing into 5, 2-seeded segments, segments persistent on plant, false septa complete, proximal part membranaceous, not terminating in loose fringe, distal part cartilaginous, margins not, or only sparsely, ciliate. Seeds 2.5–3 × 0.8–1 mm. 2n = 30.

Flowering May–Sep(–Oct). Open places, dry, sandy soils, sagebrush or pinyon-juniper zones; (300–)1100–3100 m; Ariz., Colo., N.Mex., Tex., Utah; Mexico (Chihuahua).

The corollas of Linum aristatum are broadly funnelform and almost entirely rich yellow to yellow orange with a faint blush of maroon toward the base. The stamens and styles are yellow; the stigmas are greenish yellow. Linum aristatum is highly branched, giving it a bushy look. It can be recognized by narrowly ellipsoidcapsules and long-attenuate sepals.


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