Page author: David Giblin
Comandra umbellata
bastard toadflax

Distribution: Occurring east of the Cascades crest in Washington; widely distributed throughout North America.

Habitat: Dry to moist-but-sandy soil, sea level to subalpine; common in the shrub-steppe.

Flowers: April-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Perennial

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Glabrous, parasitic, perennial herbs from rhizomes, the stems clustered, 5-30 cm. tall, erect.


Leaves alternate, entire, short-petiolate, linear-elliptic to lanceolate or oblong, 5-40 mm. long and 1-10 mm. broad, from thin, green on both surfaces to glaucous, thick and fleshy.


Flowers perfect, 3-7 mm. long, numerous in clusters of terminal and sub-terminal, small cymes; ovary inferior, surmounted by a disk surrounded by 5 white to purplish, broadly lanceolate, erect to spreading calyx lobes; stamens 5, opposite the calyx lobes, the filaments 1 mm. long, with a tuft of hairs at the base.


Drupe dry to fleshy, purplish to brown, 4-8 mm. long, bearing the persistent calyx.

Accepted Name:
Comandra umbellata (L.) Nutt.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
(none provided)
ssp. californica – bastard toadflax
ssp. pallida – bastard toadflax
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Comandra umbellata in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Comandra umbellata checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Comandra umbellata atlas page.

CalPhotos: Comandra umbellata photos.

USDA Plants: Comandra umbellata information.

57 photographs:
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