Tidestromia suffruticosa (Torr.) Standley var. oblongifolia (S. Watson)
Sánch.Pino & Flores

Amaranthaceae (Amaranth Family)


Honeysweet is an erect to decumbent, intricately-branched and somewhat rounded, thickly gray-woolly perennial shrub growing 12" to 24" tall from a woody taproot.  The leaves are opposite, oblong to almost round, prominently veined, and persistently grayish-to-white-canescent.  The flowers are tiny and clustered in the leaf axils, and are subtended by involucres of three broad, partly-united leafy bracts.  There are no petals but there are five yellowish sepals which are less than 1/8" long.  The five stamens have filaments that are united below into a shallow cup, with five short teeth which are staminodes alternating between them.  The fruit is a one-seeded, indehiscent utricle. Honeysweet is a common inhabitant of dry washes and rocky hillsides and sandy or slightly alkaline places mostly below 2000' in both deserts, ranging to Baja, Nevada and Arizona, and blooming from April to December, but usually after summer rains.  The flowers have a sweet honey odor which gives this plant its name.  These pictures were taken in Red Rock Canyon State Park.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Tidestromia 2) suffruticosa 3) oblongifolia.
Pronunciation: tide-STROH-mee-a suf-roo-ti-KO-sa ob-lon-ji-FO-lee-a.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.
Formerly Tidestromia oblongifolia.