Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Pima Rhatany or Littleleaf Ratany

Pima Rhatany, also known as littleleaf ratany, range ratany, ratany and purple heather (Krimeria erecta)
is found along rocky ridges and slopes in southeastern California,
southeastern Nevada, extreme southwestern Utah, all but northeastern Arizona, parts of southern New Mexico and parts of west Texas. It has five petal-like, magenta sepals and five tiny petals.
The sepals are cupped and curled upwards.
There are three upper petals and two lateral, glandular petals.
The fruits are rounded and covered in fuzzy, white hair and reddish spines lined with tiny barbs. The leaves are small, green, hairy, alternate and linear in shape. The stems are branched and sprawling at the base.
The plants are partial root parasites of nearby plants. I found them on my third trip to the bajada south of the Eagle Mountains, right at the edge of the mountain range, on May 1. I primarily used the website titled Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and the Plants of the Sonoran Desert found at for this post. I really like that website as it provides several pictures of the plant and flowers and a nice description that Englishizes the scientific jargon found in the Jepson Manual put out by the University of California at Berkeley. I have been able to identify many of the plants and flowers I've seen through that website.


  1. I must confess I clicked over onto your post strictly because of the title. And, as usual, I learned a lot. Time to browse the rest again.

  2. You're kind to even be willing to look at them. I have never been a plant or flower person, but as in other aspects of life, it is amazing what you can learn to enjoy. It does provide an element of fun and interest while I do something I love to do - be in the outdoors.