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Ceratocephala testiculata
Ceratocephala testiculata. Synonyms: Ceratocephala orthocera, Ranunculus testiculatus. (Hornhead)
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Semi-deserts, foothills. Meadows, woodlands, shrublands. Spring.
Near Yellowjacket Canyon, March 13, 2005.

This is a very tiny but very noticeable invasive species. It may appear in small patches but often densely carpets large areas.  It flowers early in the spring when only a half inch tall; the flower gives way to a 1/4 inch layered horny seed pod that dries and becomes very prickly.

"Ceratocephala" is Greek for "hornhead" and "orthocera" is Greek for "straight horn".

Ceratocephala testiculata
Ceratocephala testiculata. Synonyms: Ceratocephala orthocera, Ranunculus testiculatus. (Hornhead)
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Semi-deserts, foothills. Meadows, woodlands, shrublands. Spring.
Near Yellowjacket Canyon, March 13, 2005.

Flowers are minute but usually quite evident because they are closely packed.

Ceratocephala testiculata
Ceratocephala testiculata. Synonyms: Ceratocephala orthocera, Ranunculus testiculatus. (Hornhead)
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Semi-deserts, foothills. Meadows, woodlands, shrublands. Spring.
Can Do Trail above Narraguinnep Reservoir, April 22, 2009.

Leaves are minutely hairy and forked.

Ceratocephala testiculata

Ceratocephala testiculata

Ceratocephala testiculata. Synonyms: Ceratocephala orthocera, Ranunculus testiculatus. (Hornhead)
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup Family)

Semi-deserts, foothills. Meadows, woodlands, shrublands. Spring.
Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, April 11, 2010 and Near Yellowjacket Canyon, April 13, 2004.

Soft, green developing seed heads turn to brown and gray spinneyness.  These tiny 1/8 inch horny heads won't puncture your bicycle tire but don't go barefoot  -- and don't kneel on them  --  and ask your cat what she thinks of them!

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Ceratocephala testiculata