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Cryptantha muricata
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Boraginales
Family: Boraginaceae
Genus: Cryptantha
Type species
Cryptantha glomerata

about 200, see text.

Cryptantha is a genus of flowering plants in the borage family, Boraginaceae. They are known commonly as cat's eyes and popcorn flowers (the latter name is also used to refer to the closely related genus Plagiobothrys).[1] They are distributed throughout western North America and western South America, but they are absent from the regions in between.[1]

These are annual or perennial herbs usually coated in rough hairs and bearing rounded flower corollas that are almost always white, but are yellow in a few species.[1] Several morphological characters are used to distinguish species from one another, but the most definitive is the form of the nutlet, which varies in shape, size, color, and pattern of attachment.[1]


The genus has been reorganized several times. As of 2012 there are about 200 species. About 130 are limited to western North America, and about 70 species occur in western South America; three species are found on both continents.[1]

Species include:[2]

Cryptantha utahensis

Formerly placed here[edit]

Many Cryptantha have been transferred to other genera:[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e Hasenstab-Lehman, K. E. and M. G. Simpson. (2012). Cat's eyes and popcorn flowers: phylogenetic systematics of the genus Cryptantha s. l. (Boraginaceae). Systematic Botany 37(3), 738-57.
  2. ^ a b Simpson, M. G. and the Plant Systematics Lab, SDSU. Cryptantha s.l. Taxonomy & Images. Based upon Hasenstab-Lehman, K. E. and M. G. Simpson. (2012).
  3. ^ WTU Herbarium

External links[edit]