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Comandra umbellata   (L. ) Nutt.
Riley County, Kansas
Height: 3-18 inches
Family: Santalaceae - Sandalwood Family
Flowering Period:   May, June, July
Also Called: Pale comandra.
Stems: Erect, slender, usually clustered, often branched, glabrous, very leafy.
Leaves: Alternate, simple, nearly sessile to short-stalked, numerous, linear or lanceolate or elliptic, 1/4 to 2 inches long, less than 1/3 inch wide, gray-green, usually waxy, midrib prominent beneath; margins entire; tips pointed or occasionally blunt.
Inflorescences: 3-6-flowered, terminal, on slender stalks.
Flowers: 4-5 white, lanceolate, petal-like sepals, united at bases; petals absent; stamens 5, opposite sepals.
Fruits: Fleshy, nearly spherical, green when young, purplish brown when mature, glabrous or slightly rough, 1-seeded.
Habitat: Dry, rocky or sandy prairies, and open wooded areas.
Distribution: Throughout Kansas.
Uses: Native Americans used the fruits of bastard toadflax as a minor food source and treated cuts, sores, and eye inflammations with a wash made from the plant.
Comments: Bastard toadflax is partially parasitic on other plants. Its roots penetrate those of nearby plants to obtain nutrients and water. The leaves contain chlorophyll, so it can also produce food through photosynthesis.

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