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Emmenanthe penduliflora inflorescences 2004-05-17.jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Boraginales
Family: Boraginaceae
Subfamily: Hydrophylloideae
Genus: Emmenanthe
Species: E. penduliflora
Binomial name
Emmenanthe penduliflora

Emmenanthe is a monotypic genus which contains only one species, Emmenanthe penduliflora, known by the common name whispering bells. This is a grassland wildflower found in the western United States.


Emmenanthe is an annual plant with fleshy foliage which exudes a sticky juice with a light medicinal odor. The plant comes up from a weedy-looking basal rosette of sharply lobed leaves. It produces long inflorescences hung with small yellow or pink bell-shaped flowers which dry and become light and papery. The dry hanging flowers make a rustling sound when a breeze comes through, giving the whispering bells its common name. The dry flower also contains a fruit about a centimeter wide.


This flower is most common in dry, recently burned areas; germination of the seeds may be triggered by the presence of burned plant material. It is a common plant of the chaparral ecosystem, which is prone to wildfire.


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