Yellow Cups

Common Names:
Yellow Cups, Golden Suncup
Scientific name:
Chylismia brevipes
Subspecies | Variants:
Chylismia brevipes ssp. arizonica, Chylismia brevipes ssp. brevipes, Chylismia brevipes ssp. pallidula
Elevation range:
-200-6,000 ft.
Flowering Months:
February, March, April, May
Height | Length:
1-2 ft.
Life Cycle | Lifeform:
Opens in the evening
State Occurrences:
Desert region:
Mojave, Sonoran

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Yellow Cups in the desert

Chylismia brevipes is an erect annual or perennial herb with ovate leaves, a reddish-green stem and a raceme inflorescence. Rainbow Basin Natural Area, CA | April 11, 2014

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Yellow Cups in the desert

The flowers of Chylismia brevipes have 4 yellow petals that curve inward giving it a cup shape. Petals often have many red spots near the base. There are 8 large yellow stamens thick with pollen and a club shaped yellow stigma. The inflorescence is nodding, especially the cluster of flower buds at the tip. Death Valley National Park | January 2016

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Yellow Cups in the desert

Chylismia brevipes has a basal rosette of ovate leaves that are pinnate near the base with a terminal leaf that is much larger than the others. Leaf characteristics can vary and distinction between subspecies and accounting for this genus' propensity to hybridize makes identification challenging at times. Joshua Tree National Park | December 2013

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Yellow Cups in the desert

Chylismia brevipes is a common and widespread plant throughout the Desert Southwest. Death Valley National Park | March 26, 2013

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Yellow Cups in the desert

Fruit of Chylismia brevipes is ascending, cylindrical and 3-4 inches long. Note the bristly hairs on sepals. Death Valley National Park | March 2013