Hermaphroditic plant with yellow tubular anthers and white styles attached to forming seed pods. The inconspicuous flowers lack petals, and are clustered at the leaf axils where they join the stem. Male flowers have a tiny 4-9 lobed  1/16 in. long green calyx and about 10 stamens. In female flowers, the calyx is 3-toothed, and 1/4 in. long; there are fewer stamens, and the style is about 3/16 inch long (Clarke). Tenaja Falls, San Mateo Wilderness, Riverside Co., CA 7-4-11. © Joan Avise

Durango Root

Datisca glomerata

A 4-8 ft. tall herbaceous perennial, with hollow stems and roots growing in flowing water (Clarke). It is common along rocky stream courses and washes in the Santa Ana Mountains, southern foothills and San Juan Creek (Roberts) and is found in California, Nevada and Baja California, Mexico.  It is one of a rare group of androdioecious species with a male population and a distinct hermaphrodite population. Fruits are 1/4 in. capsules that release tiny seeds from the tip. All parts of the plant are toxic, and it can be poisonous to cattle. Flowering May - July.

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Hermaphroditic plant showing seed capsules with attached anthers. San Juan Loop Trail, Cleveland National Forest, Riverside Co., CA 7-18-10. © Joan Avise

San Juan Loop Trail, Cleveland National Forest, Riverside Co., CA 7-18-10. © Joan Avise

San Juan Loop Trail, Cleveland National Forest, Riverside Co., CA 7-18-10. © Joan Avise

Distinctive 6 in. long, pointed, incised, and sharply serrated leaves.  San Juan Loop Trail, Cleveland National Forest, Riverside Co., CA 7-18-10. © Joan Avise

Roots need exposure to flowing water. San Juan Loop Trail, Cleveland National Forest, Riverside Co., CA 7-18-10. © Joan Avise

New spring growth at the base, and tall brown stalks from last year's growth. San Juan Loop Trail, beside creek; Cleveland National Forest, Riverside Co., CA. 4-14-12. © Joan Avise

San Juan Loop Trail, 4-5-12. © Ron Vanderhoff.

San Juan Creek, adjacent Christianitos Road, 9-15-11. © Ron Vanderhoff.

San Juan Creek, adjacent Christianitos Road, 9-15-11. © Ron Vanderhoff.

San Juan Creek at Hwy 74, 2.2 Mi NE Int 5, 6-1-12. © Ron Vanderhoff.

San Juan Creek, adjacent Christianitos Road, 9-15-11. © Ron Vanderhoff.


San Mateo Crk. mouth to 2.25 mi. upstream and 1 mi. SW, 7-25-13. © Ron Vanderhoff.