Plants spreading and diffuse, (0.5-)1-5 × 1-5(-7) dm, pubes-cent. Leaves basal; petiole 0.3-1(-1.5) cm; blade oblance-olate, (0.5-)1-3(-4) × (0.2-)0.4-1(-1.2) cm, thinly pubescent. Inflores-cences with involucres in open clusters 2-6 cm diam., greenish or reddish; bracts 2-3 at proximal node, usually leaflike, often with whorl of sessile bracts about midstem, oblanceolate to elliptic, 0.5-1.5 cm × 1-4 mm, gradually becoming reduced, linear-lanceolate, 0.4-1.2(-1.5) cm × 1.5-5 mm, at distal nodes scalelike, linear and aciculate, acerose, awns straight, 1-3 mm. Involucres 3-10+, greenish or reddish, urceolate, strongly ventricose basally, 4-4.5 mm, without scarious or membranous margins, corrugate, thinly pubescent; teeth spreading, unequal, 1-3 mm; awns straight or uncinate with longer anterior one straight, mostly 2 mm, others uncinate, 0.5-1 mm. Flowers exserted; perianth bicolored with floral tube white to greenish yellow and tepals red to maroon, cylindric, 4-4.5 mm, sparsely pubescent; tepals connate 2 their length, dimorphic, oblong, those of outer whorl spreading and recurved, slightly longer than those of inner whorl, broadly obcordate, slightly erose or at least wavy and rounded apically, those of inner whorl erect, narrower, fimbriate and truncate or somewhat 2-lobed apically, erect; stamens 9, exserted; filaments distinct, 3.5-4 mm, glabrous; anthers pink to red or maroon, oblong, 1-1.3 mm. Achenes brown, globose-lenticular, 3-3.5 mm. 2n = 40, 42, 44. Flowering May-Sep. Serpentine outcrops, mixed grassland communities, oak-pine woodlands; 500-1000 m; Calif. Chorizanthe ventricosa is restricted to isolated outcrops of serpentine in the coastal mountain ranges of southeastern Monterey County and southern San Benito County south in western Fresno County to the Parkfield Grade area and in Cottonwood Pass of San Luis Obispo County.