Blue Fiestaflower

The foliage of blue fiestaflowers (Pholistoma auritum) is covered in curved and hooked hairs or bristles. At the time of the Spanish ranchos, senoritas would adorn their fiesta (party) dresses with sprigs of these flowers, the bristles of which would stick to fabric like Velcro. Hence the common name.

Blue fiestaflower is a weak vine that branches profusely forming a tangle. The stems are brittle and fleshy.

The leaves of this native annual are deeply lobed and toothed with winged petioles that clasp the stem. The lower leaves are opposite while the upper are alternate.

The terminal blue fiestaflowers occur in singly or in cymes of 2 to 6 flowers. The hair-lined flowers are bell shaped and drooping. The 5 fused petals are blue to purple with darker markings in the center. There are 5 sepals.

The fruits of this Borage Family (Boraginaceae) member are capsules containing 1 to 4 brown seeds. The sepals enclose the fruits.

Blue fiestaflowers are found in varied habitats (coastal bluffs, mountain slopes, desert scrubland, streambanks and woodlands) below 6,000 feet in California, Southern Nevada and Arizona.

The genus designation derives from Greek (pholis/scale and stoma/mouth) and refers to scales in the throat of the flower: In Latin the specific epithet means “eared” like the winged leaf petioles.

These blue fiestaflowers were photographed in May along Bear Gulch Trail in Pinnacles National Park CA.

This entry was posted in Vines, Wildflowers and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Blue Fiestaflower

  1. tonytomeo says:

    Gee, you were near here in San Benito County.


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