Emmenanthe is a monotypic genus which contains only one species, Emmenanthe penduliflora, known by the common name whispering bells.[1] This grassland wildflower is native to California, though it can also be found in other locations within western North America.[1]

Emmenanthe penduliflora inflorescences 2004-05-17.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Boraginales
Family: Boraginaceae
Subfamily: Hydrophylloideae
Genus: Emmenanthe
E. penduliflora
Binomial name
Emmenanthe penduliflora


Emmenanthe is monotypic genus of annual plants with fleshy foliage which exudes a sticky juice with a light medicinal odor.[2] The plant comes up from a weedy-looking basal rosette of sharply lobed leaves. Inflorescence is a terminal cluster of flowers, borne on slender pedicels less than 1 inch long. Blooms have five sepals and five yellow or pinkish petals in a bell-shaped. Flowers dry and become light and papery. The dry hanging flowers make a rustling sound when a breeze comes through, giving the whispering bells its common name. The dry flower also contains a fruit about a centimeter wide.


This flower is most common in dry, recently burned areas; germination of the seeds may be triggered by the presence of burned plant material. It is a common plant of the chaparral ecosystem, which is prone to wildfire.


  1. ^ a b "Emmenanthe penduliflora". Calflora: Information on California plants for education, research and conservation, with data contributed by public and private institutions and individuals, including the Consortium of California Herbaria. Retrieved 9 November 2019.
  2. ^ Robert Patterson & Richard R. Halse. "Emmenanthe penduliflora". The Jepson Herbarium - University of California, Berkeley. Retrieved 9 November 2019.

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