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Key to families | Table of families and genera
This text currently parallels The Jepson Manual: Vascular Plants of California, Second Edition that is now available at the University of California Press.
Text appearing in blue on this page will not appear in the printed book; it will be displayed only on the Web. Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.
Vine, annual (per if on perennial host), not in contact with ground, attached to, holoparasitic on host by many small, specialized roots (haustoria) along stem, generally glabrous.
Stem: thread-like, ± green, yellow, orange, or ± red.
Leaf: 0 or scale-like, alternate, ± 2 mm.
Inflorescence: generally cyme, head- to panicle-like ( flowers 1), subtended by 0–3 bracts.
Flower: bisexual, radial, parts generally in 4s or 5s; calyx generally divided 2/5–3/5, persistent generally ± cream-white; corolla generally ± white, persistent (withered in fruit) or not, tube cup-shaped to cylindric, bulged or horizontally ridged below lobes or generally not, generally with scales subtending stamens, lobes alternate stamens, erect to reflexed; ovary superior, chambers 2, each 2-ovuled, styles 2, generally free, persistent, stigmas 2, generally spheric, persistent.
Fruit: capsule, generally indehiscent to irregularly dehiscent (or circumscissile near base), spheric to ovoid, depressed or not, thickened and/or raised around generally inconspicuous opening between styles or not.
Seed: 1–4; coat papillate when hydrated, honeycombed when dry, (rarely neither, with cells ± rectangular, in ± jigsaw-puzzle-like arrangement); embryo generally slender, 1–3-coiled.
± 180 species: cosmopolitan, especially warmer regions of W. Hemisphere and Polynesia. (Aramaic, Hebrew; to cover, from habit) [Costea & Stefanovic 2009 Syst Bot 34:570–579] By persistent, withered corolla, fruit may be "capped" (corolla on top of fruit), "surrounded" (fruit at least in part visible, corolla ± loosely around fruit), or "enclosed" (fruit not visible, corolla ± tightly around fruit). Cuscuta pentagona Engelm. excluded.
Unabridged etymology: (Aramaic, Hebrew; from the verb K-S-Y (Kaph, Shin, Yodh), to cover, from habit)
Unabridged references: [Costea et al. 2005 Brittonia 57:264–272; Costea et al. 2006 Sida 22:151–175, 177–195, 197–207, 209–225; Costea & Stefanovic 2009. Cuscuta jepsonii (Convolvulaceae), an invasive weed or an extinct endemic? Amer J Bot 96:1744–1750; Costea et al. 2009. Untangling the systematics of salt marsh dodders: Cuscuta pacifica a new segregate species from Cuscuta salina (Convolvulaceae). Syst Bot 34:787–795; Costea & Stefanovic. 2009. Molecular phylogeny of Cuscuta californica complex (Convolvulaceae) and a new species from New Mexico and Trans-Pecos. Syst Bot 34:570–579; Costea & Tardif 2006 Canad J Plant Sci 86:293–316]
1. Styles 2, fused (Subg. Monogynella)
2. Style >= stigmas ..... [C. japonica var. formosana]
2' Style < stigmas. (Extirpated) ..... [C. reflexa]
1' Styles 2, free
3. Stigmas elongate; calyx abruptly narrowed to short, obtuse, fleshy appendage (Subg. Cuscuta) ..... C. approximata
3' Stigmas spheric to widely elliptic; calyx lobes not narrowed to appendage (Subg. Grammica)
4. Corolla scales 0
5. Corolla lobes 1/3–1/2 tube, ovate-triangular, tips incurved ..... C. jepsonii
5' Corolla lobes 3/4 to > tube, narrowly lanceolate to lanceolate, tips not incurved
6. Styles 0.5–1(1.5) mm; anthers 0.25–0.5 mm, wide-elliptic; fruit translucent, surrounded by corolla ..... C. occidentalis
6' Styles 1.2–3 mm; anthers 0.7–1.1 mm, oblong to linear; fruit not translucent, ± enclosed by corolla (top not or barely visible)
7. Calyx 1/2–1/4 corolla tube; corolla lobes <= tube; filaments 0.2–0.6 mm ..... C. brachycalyx
7' Calyx 3/4 to = corolla tube; corolla lobes >= tube; filaments 0.6–1.1 mm ..... C. californica
8. Ovary, fruit ovoid-conic, tip pointed; seed 1 ..... var. apiculata
8' Ovary, fruit spheric to spheric-depressed; seeds (1)2–4
9. Perianth, pedicels dense-papillate ..... var. papillosa
9' Perianth, pedicels not papillate ..... var. californica
4' Corolla scales present
10. Corolla scales generally reduced, shallowly finely dentate (rarely 2-lobed, ± fringed into 1–3 short units on each side of filaments) ..... C. suksdorfii
10' Corolla scales well developed, fringed
11. Calyx, corolla lobe tips dissimilar, calyx lobe tips obtuse to rounded, corolla lobe tips acute
12. Calyx 1/2–3/4 corolla tube. (Extirpated) ..... C. suaveolens
12' Calyx generally ± = corolla tube ..... C. campestris
11' Calyx, corolla lobes tips similar, both either acute to long-acuminate or obtuse to rounded
13. Calyx, corolla lobes obtuse to rounded
14. Calyx veined, shiny; calyx, corolla lobes finely dentate; seeds 1, spheric to spheric-ovoid ..... C. denticulata
14' Calyx not veined, not shiny; calyx, corolla lobes entire or calyx lobes finely serrate; seeds (1)2–4
15. Fl parts in (3s)4s(5s); fruit capped by corolla ..... C. cephalanthi
15' Fl parts in (4s)5s; fruit surrounded by corolla. (Extirpated) ..... C. obtusiflora var. glandulosa
13' Calyx, corolla lobes acute to long-acuminate
16. Corolla lobe tips incurved ..... C. indecora var. indecora
16' Corolla lobe tips straight or recurved but not incurved
17. Embryo enlarged on 1 end
18. Fls 1–2(5), (2.8)3–4(5) mm; calyx lobes lanceolate, ± entire; anthers 0.4–0.7 mm, filaments (0)0.1–0.3 mm; desert, on shrubs in Atriplex, Ambrosia, Psorothamnus, Xylorhiza ..... C. nevadensis
18' Fls (1)2–5, 1.9–3.2 mm; calyx lobes oblong to obovate-rhombic, ± irregularly finely dentate; anthers 0.3–0.4 mm, filaments 0.2–0.4 mm; desert, on Bursera, Schinus. (Extirpated) ..... C. veatchii
17' Embryo not enlarged on 1 end
19. Fl 5–7(9) mm; calyx generally 1/2 corolla tube, lobe bases overlapped; corolla lobes 1/4–1/3 tube; anthers 0.8–2 mm ..... C. subinclusa
19' Fl 2.5–5(6) mm; calyx generally ± = corolla tube, lobe bases generally not overlapped; corolla lobes generally ± = tube; anthers 0.3–0.7 mm
20. Fls in host inflorescence, parts in 4s(5s); calyx, corolla lobes acuminate to long-acuminate; fruit spheric to spheric-depressed, not thickened, not raised around opening between styles; seeds 1–4 ..... C. howelliana
20' Fls not in host inflorescence, parts in 5s; calyx, corolla lobes acute to acuminate; fruit elliptic-ovoid, ± thickened, ± raised around opening between styles; seeds 1–2
21. Pedicels (0.5)1–5 mm; flower 2.5–4.5 mm; corolla tube ± cylindric, lobes reflexed to spreading, ovate- to lance-oblong; inland salt flats ..... C. salina
21' Pedicels 0.5–2 mm; flower 3.5–6 mm; corolla tube bell-shaped, lobes spreading to erect, widely ovate; coastal salt marshes, interdune depressions, tidal flats ..... C. pacifica
22. Pedicels, calyx papillate; interdune depressions ..... var. papillata
22' Pedicels, calyx not papillate; coastal salt marshes, tidal flats ..... var. pacifica
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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