Crossosoma bigelovii, Ragged Rockflower
Scientific Name: Crossosoma bigelovii
Common Name: Ragged Rockflower
Also Called: Bigelow's Crossosoma, Ragged Rock Flower, Ragged Rock-flower and Rhyolite Bush
Family: Crossosomataceae, Crossosoma Family
Size: Up to 8 feet tall but typically much smaller.
Growth Form: Shrub or subshrub; woody, rough bark, erect with multiple branches, branches armed with thorny spines.
Leaves: Green or gray-green; in clusters, deciduous under drought conditions.
Flower Color: White with pink or purple tinges; showy flowers, accurately described as resembling an apple-blossom with its numerous stamens, fruit is a small 2mm follicle containing several seeds.
Flowering Season: February to May, longer under favorable conditions.
Elevation: 1,500 to 4,000 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Dry rocky slopes, cliffs and canyon walls.
Recorded Range: Crossosoma bigelovii is relatively rare in the United States where it occurs in Arizona, California and Nevada. This species is also native to Baja California, Chihuahua, and Sonora Mexico. In Arizona it is found mostly in the western half of the state.
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.
2 species in Crossosoma in the United States (California), 1 found in Arizona. Crossosoma bigelovii has 2 varieties;
Crossosoma bigelovii var. bigelovii, Ragged Rockflower, original distribution above and
Crossosoma bigelovii var. glaucum, Ragged Rockflower, which is found only in Arizona.
Comments: Ragged Rockflower is one of only 7 species from the Crossosomataceae family found in North America north of Mexico.
Although not common, Ragged Rockflower is used as a landscape specimen if a natural look is desired as the flowers have a beautiful aroma, attract butterflies and plants can be grown from seed. Ragged Rockflower lives in crags and crevices on cliff ridges where water is quickly drained away so caution is required as over-watering these plants can be detrimental.