From the Greek ipo, “to strike,” and opsis, “appearance,” thus of striking appearance
Named after Dr. George Thurber (1821-1890), called the most accomplished horticulturist in America, and botanist and quartermaster of the Mexican Boundary Survey, 1850-1854. Dr. Thurber was professor of botany and horticulture at Michigan Agricultural College 1859-1863 and editor of the American Agriculturalist from 1863 until his death in 1890
They are found in open slopes or canyons, on sandy to rocky soils and desert shrublands, from elevations of 4000-8000' (1.2-2.4 km).
Plants: Short-lived perennial, 14-39" (35-100 cm) tall, sometimes branched.
Stems are sometimes woody at the bottom. Higher up, they are somewhat hairy and often tinged with purple.
Leaves: Needlelike, succulent, deeply divided, about ¹/₃₂" (1 mm) around,
shiny or slightly hairy.
Flowers: Produces extensive flowers, all on one side of the plant.
Each flower is tubular, with the corolla (the long thin throat) 1¼-1¾" (3.5-5 cm) long and lavendar-colored.
The open portion of the flower is bluish-purple. The calyx is another ⅛-⅜" (6-10 mm) long.
They appear from August to October.
Fruits: Capsules are ¼-⅜" (8-10 mm) long, containing 5-9 seeds