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Dimorphocarpa wislizeni, Spectaclepod
Scientific Name:Dimorphocarpa wislizeni Common Name: Spectaclepod
Also Called: Spectacle Pod, Touristplant, Wislizeni's Spectaclepod
Family:Brassicaceae, Mustard Family
Synonyms: (Biscutella wislizeni, Dithyrea griffithsii, Dithyrea wislizeni, Dithyrea wislizeni var. griffithsii)
Status: Duration:Annual Size: Up to 1½ feet or more.
Growth Form:Forb/herb; stems leafy, unbranched or branched at base; erect; plants densely pubescent with small stellate hairs.
Leaves: Green; pubescence of star-like or stellate hairs; alternate; cauline leaves linear-lanceolate to ovate-lanceolate; margins deeply sinuate-dentate to nearly entire.
Flower Color: White or lavender; filaments white; fruit notched below, canescent or glabrous.
Flowering Season: February to October.
Elevation: 1,000 to 6,000 feet; 2,500 to 6,500 feet in California.
Habitat Preferences: Sandy soil often along streams and roadsides, sandstone knolls, dry washes, desert flats.
Recorded Range: Spectaclepod is found primarily in the southwestern United States in AZ, CO, NM, NV, TX, UT. It is also native to northwest Mexico.
U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.
Genus Information: In North America there are 3 species and 3 accepted taxa overall for Dimorphocarpa. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 4 accepted species names and a further 2 of infraspecific rank for the genus.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 2 species of genus, California has 0Dimorphocarpa, Nevada has 1 species, New Mexico has 2 species, Texas has 2 species, Utah has 1 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.
Comments: Spectaclepod is a reference to the fruits of the genus which may resemble eyeglasses or "spectacle" pods.
Native American Ethnobotany:Dimorphocarpa wislizeni has been used as a ceremonial medicine, dermatological aid and other interesting uses by southwestern American indigenous peoples.
Apache, White Mountain Drug, Ceremonial Medicine; Infusion of plant taken at medicine ceremonies.
Apache, White Mountain Drug, Dermatological Aid; Infusion of plant used as wash for swellings.
Apache, White Mountain Drug, Throat Aid; Infusion of plant used as wash for throat troubles.
Hopi Drug, Dermatological Aid; Ground stalk used as a salve for all kinds of sores.
Hopi Other, Toys & Games; Plant, a powerful irritant, placed in armpit as a practical joke.
Keres, Western Drug, Nose Medicine; Crushed seeds and leaves inhaled for catarrh or sore nose.
Navajo, Kayenta Drug, Dermatological Aid; Infusion of plant taken and used as lotion for centipede or sand cricket bites.
Zuni Drug, Dermatological Aid; Warm infusion of pulverized plant applied to swelling, especially the throat.
Zuni Drug, Psychological Aid; Infusion of plant taken by men to 'loosen their tongues so they may talk like fools & drunken men.' It was said that this infusion should never be given to women because they 'should not be made to talk too much.'
The specific epithet "wislizeni" is used in honor of Friedrich Adolph Wislizenus (21 May 1810 – 23 September 1889) a German-born American MD, explorer and botanist. He is best known for his printed recollections from travels to Northern Mexico and today's state of New Mexico.
The genus "Dimorphocarpa" comes from Greek or Latin roots: "di" or two; "morph" form or shape, and "carpo" or fruit, referring to the look of the seed pods.