Page author: David Giblin
Geocaulon lividum
false toadflax

Distribution: Occurring from Okanogan County east to Pend Oreille County in Washington; Alaska south to Washington, east to Alberta, northern Idaho, and northwestern Montana.

Habitat: Bogs and open woods to lower alpine slopes.

Flowers: June-July

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Rhizomatous, glabrous, hemiparasitic perennial herbs with stems 0.7--3 dm tall; rhizomes 1.5--3 mm wide.


Leaves narrowly ovate to obovate-oblanceolate, (1) 1.5−4 cm1.5--5 x 0.5--1 cm, thin and flaccid.


Flowers greenish-white, both hermaphroditic and functionally male (andromonoecious), generally 3 (1−4) in axils of middle to upper leaves; sepals 5, about 1.5 mm long and about as broad; petals absent; hypanthium present, flared, disc nearly flat; stamens 5 and opposite the sepals; pistil 1 with (2) 3 (5) carpels, mostly unilocular; ovary inferior.


Yellow-orange to red, juicy drupe, 6-10 mm; remnants of sepals often on top of fruit.

Accepted Name:
Geocaulon lividum (Richardson) Fernald

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Comandra livida Richardson [HC]
Comandra lividum Richardson
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Geocaulon lividum in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Geocaulon lividum checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Geocaulon lividum atlas page.

CalPhotos: Geocaulon lividum photos.

USDA Plants: Geocaulon lividum information.

6 photographs:
Group by