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Pholistoma auritum

Pholistoma auritum

The small flowering herb Pholistoma auritum, which has the common name fiesta flower, is similar in appearance and habitat preference to another familiar plant in the waterleaf family, the baby-blue-eyes (Nemophila menziesii). Fiesta flower is native to the southwestern United States where it grows in woodlands and canyons.

Fiesta flower is a short green shrub with sparse dandelion-shaped leaves. Its foliage is covered in gripping hairs that help it stick to other plants and rough surfaces to support itself, climb, and hang. It bears delicate white-centered violet flowers that resemble those of baby-blue-eyes. The calyces behind the petals are green with white-toothed red edges.

The purple Arizona fiesta flower, Pholistoma auritum var. arizonicum is considered a subspecies. The white fiesta flower, Pholistoma membranaceum, is a separate species which looks similar, but bears white flowers instead of purple.

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