South California, extreme south Nevada and southwest Arizona
Canyons, hillsides; sandy or rocky locations, to 5,000 feet
Heart-shaped, stalked, quite thick, up to 2.5 inches long; edges shallowly toothed and slightly wavy
Chylismia cardiophylla can be identified by its wide, soft-hairy, heart-shaped leaves and, in spring, by the bright red withered flowers; the plant blooms over a relatively long period, producing a dense, elongated cluster in which the nodding flowers open gradually, from the base upwards. Old flowers remain attached for a while to the developing, upwardly-pointing seed pods, which are narrow and cylindrical, up to 2.5 inches in length.
Flowers are composed of four hairy, yellowish green sepals below four larger, bright yellow petals, round to broadly elliptic in shape. Petals are joined at the base to a tube, which is ringed by 8 stamens topped by flat, centrally-fixed anthers. A style rises above the ring of stamens, holding a spherical stigma. Flowers are attached to the stem by a short stalk (pedicel).