Comandra umbellata (L.) Nutt.
Santalaceae (Sandalwood Family)
USDA Symbol: COUM
A parasitic plant with compact terminal clusters of small, greenish-white, funnel-like flowers.
Although a photosynthetic plant that manufactures its own food, it is also a parasite, obtaining some of its nutrients from the roots of trees and shrubs. Although usually found in dry fields, it is also seen in bogs that dry out periodically. The generic name derives from the Greek come ("hair") and andros ("a male") and refers to the hairy attachment of the anthers to the sepals. Northern Comandra (Geocaulon lividum), a related plant common in Canada, may be seen on some of the New England mountains. It is smaller and has purple flowers.
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Fruit Type: Drupe , Nut
Size Notes: Up to about 16 inches tall.
Fruit: Pseudodrupe (drupe-like nut).
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul
DistributionUSA: AK , AL , AR , AZ , CA , CO , CT , DC , DE , GA , IA , ID , IL , IN , KS , KY , MA , MD , ME , MI , MN , MO , MS , MT , NC , ND , NE , NH , NJ , NM , NV , NY , OH , OK , OR , PA , RI , SC , SD , TN , TX , UT , VA , VT , WA , WI , WV , WY
Canada: AB , BC , MB , NB , NS , NT , ON , PE , QC , SK , YT
Native Distribution: Maine south to Georgia; west to Alabama; north to Michigan.
Native Habitat: Dry fields, thickets.
Growing ConditionsSoil Moisture: Dry
BenefitConspicuous Flowers: yes
Larval Host: Common Buckeye
Value to Beneficial InsectsSupports Conservation Biological Control
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
Butterflies and Moths of North America (BAMONA)
Common Buckeye |
Learn more at BAMONA
National Wetland Indicator Status
BibliographyBibref 1186 - Field Guide to Moths of Eastern North America (2005) Covell, C.V., Jr.
Bibref 1185 - Field Guide to Western Butterflies (Peterson Field Guides) (1999) Opler, P.A. and A.B. Wright
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 30 - Calflora (2018) Calflora
Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Webref 23 - Southwest Environmental Information Network (2009) SEINet - Arizona Chapter
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Comandra umbellata in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Comandra umbellata in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Comandra umbellata
MetadataRecord Modified: 2023-05-16
Research By: TWC Staff