Earth Fruit

Geocarpon Minimum a Texas flower.

Description

A small (1-4 cm tall), succulent winter annual that usually completes its life cycle within a 4-week period in the spring. Young plants are grayish; mature plants reddish-purple.

This species is native to Texas but also due to distribution is found in Missouri, Louisiana, and Arkansas. The species is acknowledged to be threatened in Texas and the United States.
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More on the Earth Fruit

Habitat


In Texas, Geocarpon minimum occurs in a saline barren complex, just above the floodplain of the Neches River. The vegetative edge is sometimes called a "cryptogrammic lip" referring to the lichen species that concentrate at the edge of the slicks and the lack of competition with other vegetation that is found there. The local soils are not mapped at this level of detail but appear to be clay pans, holding late winter rains with a spongy feel to the soil and drying off quickly into a hard cement. The Earth Fruit grows where little other vegetation can.


Classification



KingdomPlantae – Plants

SubkingdomTracheobionta – Vascular plants

SuperdivisionSpermatophyta – Seed plants

DivisionMagnoliophyta – Flowering plants

ClassMagnoliopsida – Dicotyledons

SubclassCaryophyllidae

OrderCaryophyllales

FamilyCaryophyllaceae – Pink family

GenusGeocarpon Mack. – geocarpon

SpeciesGeocarpon minimum Mack. – tinytim