Grayia spinosa

Spiny Hopsage

Erect much-branched shrub. Male, female flowers on separate plants. Stems straw-colored becoming gray with age, stiff, with spiny tips. Leaves alternate, fleshy, oblong, to 1 in., entire, sessile. Flowers green in dense spikes at stem tips. Male flower in 4-lobed calyx; female flower without calyx, in seed bracts that become reddish. Seedpods round, shiny, showy. Grows in sandy rocky soils in shrublands or juniper woods at all elevations. Named for eminent botanist Asa Gray.

  • Rarity: Locally Common
  • Flowering Time: Late Spring
  • Life Cycle: Perennial
  • Height: 12--40 inches
  • Habitat: Shrub-Steppe
  • Found In: Steens, Great Basin
  • Native: Yes