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Stinging Serpent

Cevallia sinuata


Stinging Serpent spotted on the White Sands Missile Range, New Mexico. It is an unusual species, the only one in its genus, characterized by thick, prickly, glandular leaves, and terminal clusters of yellow flowers subtended by linear, red-orange bracts. The hairs covering the leaves and stems are variable in length and thickness, and may be hooked, branched or stinging. Leaves are thick, lobed along the margins, and dotted with yellowish glands. Relatively long bristles line the edges, while the surfaces are covered with shorter hairs. Upper stem leaves are smaller, more lanceolate in shape, and stemless. The inflorescence is a compact cluster on top of a thick, bristly, leafless stalk, up to 4 inches tall. Flowers have five linear, yellow sepals and five similar-looking petals; all are hairy, especially along the edges and undersurfaces. At the center are five stamens, with yellow filaments and white anthers, and a short style topped by a conical stigma. Flowers mostly bloom at night.


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Stinging serpent
Cevallia sinuata Stinging Serpent, Cevallia Sinuata

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Spotted by

Las Cruces, New Mexico, United States

Spotted on Sep 2, 2021
Submitted on Sep 2, 2021

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