Plant: perennial herb, sprawling, decumbent, with branches generally radiating from a central woody underground stem, the branches to 1 m long, green, densely tomentose to sparsely strigose Leaves: 5-25 mm long, 0.9-4 mm wide, variably strigose, alternate, exstipulate INFLORESCENCE: uniflorous in leaf axils, racemes Flowers: flowering stalks 1-3 cm long; bractlets (7-)10-15 mm long, 0.5-2 mm wide, distal on the flowering stalk; sepals 5, spreading, densely strigose on the outer surfaces, deep purple; lowermost sepal 10-16 mm long, 3-6 mm wide; elaiophores cuneate, 1.5-3 mm long, pink, apricot-colored, or reddish with secretory blisters restricted to the upper half or quarter of the outer and distal faces; petaloid petals 3, clawed, 5-7 mm long, basally connate for about 4 mm with the connate portion cream-colored or pink, the terminal, distinct portions expanded into reniform blades, these crenulate, 1.5-2 mm long, 2-3 mm wide, purple, or pink and purple-edged; stamens 4, 3-4 mm long, inserted on the connate base of the petaloid petals with lateral pair connate for 1-2.5 mm beyond the point of insertion, pale pink; ovary 3-4 mm long; style pink Fruit: FRUITS globose (rarely slightly cordate) in outline, 5.5-8 mm wide excluding spines, variously pubescent, bearing stout, scattered spines; individual spines yellow, 1.8-5.3 mm long appearing roughened at the distal ends; SEEDS globose, gray-brown, smooth, lacking endosperm Misc: Usually in open grassy habitats with oak, or oak and pine; 1200-1700 m (4000-5500 ft.); May-Aug REFERENCES: Simpson, Beryl B. Andrew Salywon. 1999. Krameriaceae. Ariz. - Nev. Acad. Sci. 32(1).
VPAP (Simpson and Salywon 1999), Allred and Ivey 2012, Martin and Hutchins 1980, Correll and Johnston 1970
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Sprawling, much-branched perennial herb, from a woody underground stem; branches prostrate or decumbent, up to 1 m long and radiating out from the center; herbage gray-green and densely tomentose to sparsely strigose. Leaves: Alternate along the stems and sessile or nearly so; blades linear to linear-lanceolate, 1-3 cm long and 1-4 mm wide, with entire margins, tipped with a very small spine; surfaces variably strigose. Flowers: Red-purple and bilaterally symmetrical, solitary in the axils of most leaves; each flower on a stalk 1-3 cm long; sepals 5, spreading, hairy on the outer surface, deep purple and showy, resembling petals; lowermost sepal 10-16 mm long and 3-6 mm wide, the other sepals slightly smaller; 2 lower petals modified into oil-secreting glands (called elaiophores), 1.5-3 mm long, pink, apricot-colored or reddish; upper 3 petals clawed and united near the base, cream or pink, about half the length of the sepals. Fruits: Capsules globose, 5-6 mm wide, covered with stout yellow spines, 2-5 mm long; containing 1 seed. Ecology: Found in open areas, often in grassy sites with oak, or oak and pine from 4,000-5,500 ft (1219-1676 m); flowers May-August. Distribution: s AZ, s CO, NM, s KS, OK, TX, AR, GA, FL; south to s MEX. Notes: Distinct from the other two Krameria spp in its being the only perennial herb, wheras the others are shrubs. The sprawling, laying-down habit, gray-green hairy leaves, and spine-covered fruits are distinctive, as are the irregular reddish-purple flowers with 5 showy, hairy sepals, and 3 smaller petals that are fused together for the lower half. Look for this genus in the pea family(Fabaceae) in older texts; it has since been classified in its own family, Krameriaceae. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Krameria named after Johann Georg Heinrich Kramer (1684-1744) an Austrian physician and botanist; lanceolata refers to the shape of the leaves. Synonyms: Krameria secundiflora, Krameria spathulata Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2015, AHazelton 2017