PERENNIAL. Inconspicuous when not flowering. Forms small
mats of thick dark green velvety stems with small linear leaves.
Flowers bright white, birdlike, with a bright purple and yellow spot on
the top petal. Blooms in April-May, followed by curly brown plumed
In the Empires, occasional on rock outcrops and among boulders
in desert grassland. Tetramerium nervosum has similar flowers
but blooms later and is taller, with cylindrical flowerheads and leafy
FAMILY: Acanthaceae (Acanthus family)