Polyctenium fremontii

Polyctenium fremontii

Desert Combleaf (Polyctenium fremontii) is named both in English and Greek for its deeply lobed leaves, which almost appear at a quick glance to be pinnately compound. It is a small and compact plant. A close-up look at the leaves reveals forked hairs, and the distal end of the leaf often has a single hair at the very tip. It is a member of the broccoli family, and the flowers therefore have four petals in the shape of a cross; the petals are white. The flowers appear in clusters at the ends of the stems.

This plant is rather uncommon, but is amongst the first plants of sagebrush country (inland western U.S.) to bloom in spring. It may be found on the banks of seasonal streams and similar places.

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