Cordylanthus tenuis subsp. brunneus
Aliso 4: 98. 1958.
Stems glabrous proximally, glandular-puberulent distally. Leaves green, sometimes tinged purple, entire or 3-lobed, lobes filiform. Inflorescences 1-flowered or 2-flowered, flowers in loose clusters; bracts green to purple, entire or 3-lobed, puberulent, often glabrous distally, without long hairs. Flowers: corolla 12–16 mm.
Phenology: Flowering Jun–Jul.
Habitat: Serpentine in mixed evergreen forests and chaparral.
Elevation: 200–1400 m.
Subspecies brunneus is a serpentine endemic with glabrous or slightly puberulent stems and leaves with filiform lobes. T. I. Chuang and L. R. Heckard (1986) recognized subsp. capillaris as a distinct subspecies, closely related to subsp. brunneus but distinguished by glabrous stems and three-lobed proximal bracts. These characteristics are not reliable, varying even on a single plant. When combined, the two form a coherent subspecies distinguished by filiform leaf lobes, tendency to grow on serpentine, and distribution.