Redmaids (Calandrinia ciliata)
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Redmaids, sometimes called desert rockpurselane, is a low-growing, slightly succulent, winter annual broadleaf native to California. Although a desirable component of vegetation in natural areas, redmaids are a minor weed, especially in cool-season, noncompetitive crop fields like baby spinach. It is found throughout California, except in deserts, the eastern Modoc Plateau, and east of the central Sierra Nevada to about 7200 feet (2200 m) and is abundant in the Sacramento and northern San Joaquin valleys. Redmaids prefer cool, damp conditions and dries up with the onset of hot spring weather.
Crop fields, orchards, vineyards, grassland, open areas in foothill woodland, and open disturbed sites.
Cotyledons (seed leaves) are long, narrow, slightly succulent, generally broadest at the tip, hairless or nearly so, and bright green. First true leaves are broader and larger than the cotyledons, fleshy, and lack definite stalks, distinguishing them from the seedlings of miner's lettuce. Leaves are linear to narrowly egg shaped, larger than the cotyledons, and are alternate to one another along the stem.
Plants can grow up to about 1 foot (30 cm) tall. Stems branch at the base and usually grow in a, prostrate form, often spreading over other vegetation. Leaves are variable, ranging from linear to narrowly egg shaped, with pointed or rounded tips, hairless or nearly so, and light or bright green. They are slightly succulent, stalkless, and about 2/5 to 4 inches (1–10 cm) long and are alternate to one another along the stem.
Flowering takes place from February through May or June. Flowers usually have five, bright, reddish-pink petals about 1-1/2 to 6 inches (4–15 cm) long with notched tips, and a white center.
Fruits consist of egg-shaped capsules, roughly 1/6 to over 1/4 of an inch (4–7 mm) long that open into three sections. Each capsule contains numerous seeds.
Seeds are tiny, nearly circular to oval, black, glossy, have a small notch at one end, and are roughly 1/25 to 1/10 of an inch (1–2.5 mm) in diameter.
Reproduces by seed.
Related or similar plants
- Miner's lettuce, Claytonia perfoliata, seedlings