Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Nama hispidum, Bristly Nama

Scientific Name: Nama hispidum
Common Name: Bristly Nama
Also Called: Hispid Nama, Purple Mat, Sand Bells (Spanish: Flor Morada)
Family: Hydrophyllaceae (Boraginaceae, Hydrophylloideae), the Waterleaf Family
Synonyms: (Nama foliosum, Nama hispidum var. mentzelii, Nama hispidum var. revolutum, Nama hispidum var. spathulatum, Nama tenue)
Status: Native
Duration: Annual
Size: Up to 6 inches or so, sprawling a foot or more.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; ground-hugging mat, mostly ascending but also erect, dense hairy.
Leaves: Green; linear, 1 or 2 inches long, often fleshy, revolute without petiole.
Flower Color: Purple or reddish-purple, blue or deep pink; flowers in clusters on very small pedicels, flowers funnel- or bell-shaped, fruit a capsule.
Flowering Season: February to June.
Elevation: Up to 5,000 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Dry plains and mesas, usually sandy, sandy loam or gravelly soils.

Recorded Range: Bristly Nama is found in the southwest United States in; AZ, CA, CO, MD, NM, NV, OK, TX and UT. It is also native to Baja California and northern Mexico.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Nama hispidum.

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: 22 species in Nama in the United States and Mexico. 6 species in Arizona. The Plant List includes 132 scientific plant names of species rank for the genus Nama. Of these 54 are accepted species names.

Previously there were 3 varieties which have all been returned to Nama hispidum.

Comments: In years of sufficient winter rainfall Bristly Nama forms huge areas of large purple or reddish-purple mats.

Bristly Nama is closely related to and similar in appearance to Purplemat, Nama demissum.

Parts of Bristly Nama were used by the Navajo (Kayenta )as a lotion for spider bites. See ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 10/01/2015, updated format 10/12/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 10/01/2015).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: , updated,10/01/2105]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 10/01/2015)
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information