Caulanthus inflatus, the desert candle, is a flowering plant in the family Brassicaceae (Mustard Family), native to the Mojave Desert of California and Nevada in the United States.
It grows up to 30 inches in height, with a thick, swollen stem that looks like a yellow candle. It has the tendency to bloom early in the year, and then the fruits burst open to release the seeds. It has wide oval leaves on the lower portions of the fat stem. The flowers extend the length of the thick “inflated” stem with a cluster of purple at the top as the plant grows.
The desert candle’s native habit is in open sandy plains around rocky slopes and develops a tap root. Somewhat difficult to start from seed, it does thrive best where average temperature is 65F once established.
Also suitable as potted plant. Needs good drainage and full sun. Drought Tolerant. Zones 8-9.