Herbs, annual; taproot tapered, soft or ± woody. Stems erect or ascending, unbranched in small plants to ca. 1-5 times branched throughout, 20-60 dm, densely glandular-pubescent throughout. Leaves mostly in basal 1/2; larger leaves with petiole 5-35 mm, blade ovate-triangular, ovate, or broadly lanceolate, 15-55 × 7-35 mm (distal leaves smaller, proportionately narrower), adaxial surface usually pubescent, often glandular, sometimes glabrate but with hairs along midrib, abaxial surface similar, somewhat paler, both surfaces often finely punctate with groups of brown cells, base usually round to obtuse, occasionally subtruncate, margins ± sinuate, apex acute, occasionally obtuse. Inflorescences terminal, branched ca. 1-4 times unequally, without sticky internodal bands; branches strongly ascending, terminating in spicate or racemose flower clusters, axis 10-35 mm. Flowers: pedicel 0.3-0.7 mm; bracts at base of perianth persistent, 1-2, ovate-acuminate, 1.5-4 mm; perianth whitish to pale pink (rarely golden yellow), campanulate distal to constriction, 1.2-1.4 mm; stamens 2-3, included or barely exserted. Fruits 4-15 per cluster, well spaced to completely overlapping, straw colored to tan at maturity, broadly obovoid, 2.1-2.5 × 1-2 mm (l/w: 1.3-2.1), apex rounded, glabrous; ribs 4(-5), broadly acute, never winged, slightly rugose adjacent to sulci; sulci 0.5-1 times as wide as base of ribs, coarsely transversely rugose, not papillate. 2n = 54.
Flowering summer. Sandy soils, among desert shrubs; 400-1200 m; Ariz., Calif., Nev., N.Mex., Tex., Utah; Mexico (Chihuahua, Sonora).
Kearney and Peebles 1969, McDougall 1973, Wiggins 1964
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Herbaceous annual, to 60 cm tall, stems branching from the base, having a viscid band around each internode, herbage viscid-villous. Leaves: Linear-lanceolate to orbicular, 1-4 cm long, short-petioled, usually in unequal pairs, green above, paler and glandular-punctate below. Flowers: Small, borne in terminal racemes or cymes, bracts pink, 2-3 mm long, ovate to orbicular, villous, persistent. Fruits: Pyramid-shaped or club-shaped, the ribs sometimes winged, with wrinkled furrows between the ribs, fruits 4-5 angled. Ecology: Found on gravelly flats and slopes from 4,000 ft or below (1219 m); flowering July-September. Distribution: s CA, s NV, AZ, NM, s TX; south to c MEX. Notes: This species has light purple to pink flowers in a glandular, spicate to elongate racemose inflorescence with very small flowers, the fruits are 4-angled. Differs from B. coulteri by the bracts which are persistent and half as long as the fruits. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Boerhavia sometimes spelled Boerhaavia, is named after Hermann Boerhaave (1668-1738), a Dutch botanist (ref. genus Boerh, while wrightii is named after Charles Wright (1811-1885), an American botanical collector. Synonyms: None Editor: LCrumbacher 2011, FSCoburn 2015