Dwarf chamaesaracha (Chamaesaracha nana) has “uncommon abundant” distribution. (That is an oxymoron.) It is an uncommon plant, however, in the places where it does occur, dwarf chamaesaracha is abundant.
This native perennial, a member of the Nightshade Family, is found between 4,500 and 9,000 feet in Oregon, California and Nevada. Its habitat is open, dry places with sandy soils.
One to several branched, decumbent to prostrate stems arise from the base. The entire, smooth-edged leaves have petioles.
The white dwarf chamaesaracha flowers have five sepals, petals and stamens and are shaped like a star. The stamens alternate between the petals. At the base of each petals is a green to yellowish spot. The flower has one style.
The fruits are spherical berries on a recurved petiole and contain many flat, kidney-shaped seeds.
Leucophysalis nana is an alternate scientific name for C nana. Dwarf chamaesaracha is also commonly called dwarf nightshade.The scientific name is mainly derived from Greek. Chamaesaracha comes from “chamae” meaning low whiles Saracha ia a South American genus in the Nightshade Family. “Nannos” translates as little.
These dwarf chamaesaracha plants were growing along California Highway 89 (north side) to the east of Bartle (Siskiyou County) in July.