Kelley et al 2014 (Jepson Online), Kearny and Peebles 1979
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Perennial herbs generally flowering in the first year, 20-100 cm tall, becoming rounded, shrubby, and more or less woody; stems freely branching throughout; branches spreading to ascending, the distal branches wiry; herbage canescent and sparse-spreading-bristly. Leaves: Alternate and sessile; blades 1.5-6 cm long, narrow-oblanceolate to linear, covered with bulbous-based bristles. Flowers: White, in few-flowered racemes at branch tips, the pedicels spreading and elongating in fruit to 1-6 mm; calyx 1-2 mm long in flower, persisting and extending to 2-4 mm in fruit, the lobes lance-linear, bristly on the lower half, bristles spreading to reflexed, midvein thickened; corolla white, salverform, persistent, the limb 1--3 mm wide, flat, with 5 yellow appendages at the throat. Fruits: Nutlets 3-4, with one nutlet often visibly larger than the others, 1-2 mm long, long-ovate, dark gray with pale tubercles, shiny, with a flat rim around the margin, this wider near the tip; axis extends beyond nutlets. Ecology: Found on rocky slopes, crevices, washes, canyons, and desert scrub, below 5,000 ft (1524 m); flowers February-May Distribution: s CA, s NV, w AZ; south to nw MEX (Baja California). Notes: Cryptantha is a genus of bristly herbs with white or yellow flowers in spikes that are usually 1-sided and curling like a scorpion-s tail (-scorpioid-). C. racemosa is a rounded perennial herb to subshrub associated with the creosotebush communities of the low desert. Kearny and Peebles have this to say about the species -Sheltered by rocks, this species frequently forms a small, much-branched twiggy bush 30-60 cm high. The persistent stems may become more than 1 cm thick and distinctly woody. The dead leaves are rather persistent, becoming blanched so that when numerous, the plants are conspicuous among dark rocks.- Ethnobotany: Unknown Synonyms: Johnstonella racemosa Editor: AHazelton 2015 Etymology: Cryptantha comes from the Greek krypto, "hidden," and anthos, "flower," a reference to the first described species in the genus which has inconspicuous flowers that self-fertilize without opening; racemosa means having racemes (unbranched, pedicillate arrangement of flowers).