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This is a native species.

Click to read about how to distinguish between Cryptantha and Oreocarya.

Oreocarya flava

Oreocarya flava

Oreocarya flava

Oreocarya flava

Oreocarya flava

Oreocarya flava

Oreocarya flava. Synonym: Cryptantha flava. (Yellow Cryptantha)
Boraginaceae (Forget-Me-Not Family)

Semi-desert, foothills. Openings. Spring.
Above and left: Canyons of the Ancients National Monument, May 23, 2011, April 21, 2016, and May 13, 2004.

These bright Forget-Me-Nots are favorite spring Canyon Country wildflowers for many wildflower enthusiasts. They are abundant perennials commonly found along trails in Pinyon-Juniper forests and sandy/rocky openings. It is pleasant to watch the gray mass of last year’s dead leaves yield to new, very hairy, light-green to sage-green to blue-green leaves and then to numerous clusters of tiny bright flowers, also in a very hairy cluster.

Aven Nelson named this species Oreocarya flava and described it in 1898 from specimens he collected in Sweetwater County, Wyoming in 1897. Payson renamed the species Cryptantha flava in 1927, but most botanists now place this species and other similar ones that are perennials in the Oreocarya genus. Annuals are placed in the Cryptantha genus.

"Flava" is Greek for "yellow".

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color KeySpecies 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 Oreocarya flava