Dyschoriste schiedeana var. decumbens, Spreading Snakeherb
Scientific Name: Dyschoriste schiedeana var. decumbens
Common Name: Spreading Snakeherb
Also Called: Dyschoriste, Spanish (Hierba de Vibradora)
Family: Acanthaceae, Acanthus Family
Synonyms: (Calophanes decumbens, Dyschoriste decumbens, Dyschoriste schiedeana var. decumbens)
Size: 6 to 8 inches.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; woody stems, stems course, square, sprawling along ground, ends of branches curving upward (decumbent).
Leaves: Green, dark green; course, sessile along stems in clusters, about 1.5 inches long, oblanceolate.
Flower Color: Purple, violet or lavender; corollas appeared tubed actually bilabiate, flowers small less than 3 cm; single flowers along stem axillary or in small clusters, sessile or nearly so; stamens exserted; fruit is a flattened capsule that ejects seed when mature.
Flowering Season: April to October, in Texas Spreading Snakeherb blooms May to August.
Elevation: 4,000 to 5,500 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Plains, mesas and foothills, open areas or in oaks and junipers. In Texas it is found in upland grasslands on the eastern side of Sierra Madre Occidental mountain range and also within mountains of the Big Bend region.
Recorded Range: Rare in the United States, Dyschoriste schiedeana is native only to Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. In Arizona, Spreading Snakeherb is found in the south and southeast parts of the state.
U.S. Weed Information: No data available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available.
Wetland Indicator: No data available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No data available.
Genus Information: 6 species in Dyschoriste in the United States. All species native to southern border states or southeast border states, no records in California.
2 varieties in Dyschoriste schiedeana :
Dyschoriste schiedeana var. decumbens (AZ, NM, TX)
Dyschoriste schiedeana var. cinerascens, Schied's Snakeherb (west central Texas).
Comments: Spreading Snakeherb is native to Arizona and found in the southern and southeastern parts of the state. The photos above were taken south of Canelo, Arizona in Santa Cruz County. This species is a member of the Acanthus family, a tropical and subtropical family of herbs shrubs or vines.
The populations in the United States represent the northern most reaches of this species in North America. In Arizona Spreading Snakeherb is found within a very narrow range of elevation preference between 4,000 and 5,500 feet and their habitat preferences appear limited to portions of Pima, Cochise and Santa Cruz Counties.
In Southwest Desert Flora also see: Thurber’s Desert Honeysuckle, Anisacanthus thurberi; Heath Wrightwort, Carlowrightia linearifolia; Arizona Foldwing, Dicliptera resupinata; and Chuparosa, Justicia californica.