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Amargosa Nitrophila
(Nitrophila mohavensis )

Amargosa niterwort; Photo Copyright 2002 Gary A. Monroe Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge
Photo Copyright 2002 Gary A. Monroe Ash Meadows National Wildlife Refuge

Description: Small perennial 3-10cm in height with erect stems that possess internodes.  Leaves are 3 to 4.5 mm long and are more or less ovate in shape.  Flowers are made up of sepals that are 1.5 to 2mm long and are pink fading to white.

Distribution: Amargosa Desert.  Found in the Lower Carson Slough along the Amargosa River in California and Nevada (Ash Meadows), as well as in the Tecopa, CA vicinity.

Habitat: Limited to highly alkaline, moist, and salt-encrusted clay soils.  No other plants occupy its habitat, but saltgrass (Distichilis spicata) may be found on the periphery or occasionally intemixed within nitrophila populations.  The genus Nitrophila is a greek word that means soda loving, relating to its selection of habitat.

Flowering Period: May to July

Similar Plants: Nitrophila occidentalis is in the same genus, and may be found in the same general areas as N. mohavenis.  N. occidentalis is easily seperated because of its larger size (up to 30 cm) and larger linear leaves (5-16 mm).  Confusing these plants would be difficult, since N. mohavensis is so unique in appearance.

Status: Federal Endangered, California State Endangered, California Native Plant Society List 1B

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Field Office: Barstow

Last updated: 08-05-2010