Aphanes occidentalis (Nutt.) Rydb.


=Alchemilla occidentalis


Rosaceae (Rose Family)




Western Lady's Mantle


Dew Cup

                                        March Photo


Plant Characteristics:  Low profusely branched hirsute annual, 3-10 cm. high; lvs. palmately lobed, hirsute with rather short stiff hairs, 3-12 mm., blade generally 2-5 mm., +/- round, lobes 3, cut more than 2/3 to base, again toothed or lobed; petiole 1-5 mm.; stipules widely ovate, deeply few-toothed;  bractlets usually present, ovate, about half as long as the 0.2-0.6 mm. ovate sepals; fls. several per lf. axil, hidden by sheathing stipules, 0.5-2 mm.; stamen 1; pistils 1 or 2; style attached at base of ovary; achene glabrous, ovoid, +/- 1 mm.


Habitat:  Open fields, Transition and Upper Sonoran Zones; Washington to Lower California.  Santa Catalina, Santa Rosa, and Santa Cruz Islands.  March-June.


Name:  Greek, Aphanes, unseen, from the hidden flowers.  (Hickman Ed. 948).  Latin, occidentalis, western.  (Jaeger 170).  

General:  Rare in the study area, found only in one location and that on the bluff below Eastbluff north.  (my comments).      Highly variable, with several +/- separable forms.  Relation of ssp. of Mediterranean unclear.  Northern north Coast plants with more hidden flowers resemble A. microcarpa of eastern North America, Europe.  (Hickman, Ed. 948).      Ten to twenty species worldwide, especially in the Mediterranean area.  (Hickman Ed. 948).


Text Ref:  Abrams, Vol. II 445; Hickman, Ed. 948, Munz, Flora So. Calif. 741.

Photo Ref:  April-May 95 # 13; Jan-Mar 96 # 24.

Identity: by R. De Ruff, confirmed by John Johnson.

Computer Ref:  Plant Data 477.

Have plant specimen.

Last Edit 6/14/03.


                                April Photo