Page author: David Giblin
Oreocarya spiculifera
Snake River cat's-eye, Snake River oreocarya

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; Washington to Oregon and Nevada, east to Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, and Utah.

Habitat: Dry, open slopes and flats in the plains, valleys and foothills.

Flowers: May-July

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Sensitive in Washington (WANHP)

Pollination: Bees, flies


Perennial from a taproot and simple or branched crown, the several stems 0.5-4 dm. tall; herbage with silky hairs and bristles in small blisters.


Basal leaves densely tufted, narrowly oblanceolate, 1-6 cm. long and 1.5-8 mm. wide; cauline leaves somewhat reduced.


Inflorescence an elongate, narrow panicle, with short, bracteate spikes along the main stem; corolla white, 5-lobed, the tube about equaling the calyx, the limb 5-8 mm. wide; style distinctly surpassing the nutlets.


Nutlets 4, lance-ovate, 2-4 mm. long, roughened on the back and ventrally, attached to the style.

Accepted Name:
Oreocarya spiculifera Piper
Publication: Contr. U.S. Natl. Herb. 11: 481. 1906.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Cryptantha interrupta (Greene) Payson, misapplied [HC]
Cryptantha spiculifera (Piper) Payson [HC2]
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Oreocarya spiculifera in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Oreocarya spiculifera checklist entry

OregonFlora: Oreocarya spiculifera information

E-Flora BC: Oreocarya spiculifera atlas page

CalPhotos: Oreocarya spiculifera photos

46 photographs:
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