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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.
Perennial, shrub, tree.
Stem: bark often peeling distinctively.
Leaf: simple or 0, generally cauline, alternate, opposite ( whorled), evergreen or deciduous, often leathery, petioled or not; stipules 0.
Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, cyme, or flowers 1, terminal or axillary, generally bracted; pedicel often with 2 bractlets.
Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial, bell-shaped, cylindric, or urn-shaped; sepals generally (0)4–5, generally free; petals generally (0)4–5, free or fused; stamens 8–10, free, filaments rarely appendaged, anthers awned or not, dehiscing by pores or slits; nectary generally present at ovary base, generally disk-like; ovary superior or inferior, chambers generally 1–5, placentas axile or parietal, ovules 1–many per chamber, style 1, stigma head- to funnel-like or lobed.
Fruit: capsule, drupe, berry.
Seed: generally many, winged or not.
± 100 genera, 3000 species: generally worldwide except deserts; some cultivated, especially Arbutus, Arctostaphylos, Rhododendron, Vaccinium. [Kron et al. 2002 Bot Rev 68:335–423] Monophyletic only if Empetraceae included, as treated here. Ledum included in Rhododendron. Non-green plants obtain nutrition from green plants through fungal intermediates. —Scientific Editors: Gary D. Wallace, Thomas J. Rosatti.
1. Plant non-green; leaves 0 or scale-like
2. Ovary chamber 1 or appearing > 1 by intrusion of parietal placentas; fruit a berry; fruit axis fleshy, not long-persisting
3. Petals fused; anthers elongate, dehiscing by separate slits ..... HEMITOMES
3' Petals free; anthers elongate or not, dehiscing by separate or fused slits
4. Corolla densely hairy inside, ± glabrous outside; anthers not elongate; stigma < 5 mm wide, ± funnel-shaped, subtended by ring of hairs ..... PITYOPUS
4' Corolla glabrous; anthers elongate; stigma 1.5–2.5 mm wide, crown-like, not subtended by hairs ..... PLEURICOSPORA
2' Ovary chambers 4–5; fruit a capsule; fruit axis fibrous, generally persisting long after seed dispersal
5. Petals free; fruit dehiscing tip to base; seed fusiform
6. Infl emerging from ground erect, with red or maroon stripes; pedicel not recurved when anthers open; sepals 0(2–4), petals 5; stamens exserted ..... ALLOTROPA
6' Infl emerging from ground nodding, without red or maroon stripes; pedicel recurved to spreading when anthers open; sepals, petals generally 5; stamens included ..... MONOTROPA
5' Petals fused; fruit dehiscing base to tip or indehiscent; seed ovate, winged or not
7. Plant ± pink, in age brown; inflorescence 1.5–17 dm, axis < 1.5 cm wide just below lowest flower; corolla 6–9 mm, cream to ± yellow; anthers awned; fruit dehiscing; seed winged ..... PTEROSPORA
7' Plant ± red; inflorescence generally 1.5–3 dm, axis generally > 1 cm wide just below lowest flower; corolla 12–18 mm, red; anthers unawned; fruit indehiscent; seed unwinged ..... SARCODES
1' Plant green; leaves leaf-like (except some Pyrola)
8. Plant not or ± woody; leaves basal or cauline but on short stems, alternate to whorled; petals free
9. Fls 1 or to 10 in ± head- or umbel-like raceme; fruit dehiscing tip to base
10. Fls in raceme; style in depression, stout; stigma not crown-like; nectary present; leaves cauline, leathery, elliptic to oblanceolate ..... CHIMAPHILA
10' Fls 1; style not or in slight depression, slender; stigma crown-like; nectary 0; leaves ± basal, not leathery, ovate to obovate ..... MONESES
9' Fls few–many in elongate raceme; fruit dehiscing base to tip
11. Infl 1-sided, arched, in fruit ± erect; petal tubercles 2, basal, adaxial; nectary present ..... ORTHILIA
11' Infl not 1-sided, ± erect; petal tubercles 0; nectary 0 ..... PYROLA
8' Plant woody; leaves cauline, alternate (opposite, whorled); petals 0, free and reduced, or generally fused, or calyx, corolla ± indistinguishable, perianth parts 3–6, ± free
12. Fls reduced, wind-pollinated, unisexual ..... EMPETRUM
12' Fls not reduced, not wind-pollinated, bisexual
13. Ovary inferior; fruit a berry ..... VACCINIUM
13' Ovary 1/2-inferior or generally superior; fruit a berry, drupe, or capsule
14. Fr generally ± enclosed by fleshy calyx; leaves evergreen ..... GAULTHERIA
14' Fr not enclosed by calyx; leaves evergreen or deciduous
15. Corolla generally persistent in fruit; leaf needle-like, generally < 1 mm wide ..... ERICA
15' Corolla not persistent in fruit; leaf linear or wider, generally not needle-like, generally > 1 mm wide
16. Fr a drupe or berry; plants generally of low elevations, dry habitats (except Arbutus, some Arctostaphylos)
17. Lvs opposite or whorled, ± linear; fruit a drupe, stones fused, each generally 2-seeded ..... ORNITHOSTAPHYLOS
17' Lvs alternate (except some Xylococcus), wider than linear; fruit a berry or drupe, stones free or fused, each 1–few-seeded
18. Ovary, fruit smooth, not papillate; fruit not juicy; inflorescence generally dense
19. Lf margin generally flat; filament swollen at base; fruit flesh generally mealy, occasionally 0, stones free to all fused ..... ARCTOSTAPHYLOS
19' Lf margin rolled under; filament not swollen at base; fruit flesh dry, stones fused ..... XYLOCOCCUS
18' Ovary, fruit papillate; fruit ± juicy; inflorescence generally open
20. Fr a berry; seeds few per chamber ..... ARBUTUS
20' Fr a drupe; seeds 1 per stone ..... COMAROSTAPHYLIS
16' Fr a capsule; plants generally of high elevations or moist habitats (some Rhododendron, Menziesia from low elevations, moist habitats)
21. Anthers awned or not; fruit loculicidal
22. Lvs boat-shaped, opposite, 2–5 mm, appressed; flowers 1 in upper leaf axils; anthers awns elongate ..... CASSIOPE
22' Lvs not boat-shaped, alternate, 15–80 mm, spreading; flowers in racemes; anthers awns 0 or vestigial ..... LEUCOTHOE
21' Anthers unawned; fruit septicidal
23. Fr dehiscing base to tip; petals fused at base or generally free ..... RHODODENDRON (2)
23' Fr dehiscing tip to base; petals ± fused
24. Corolla generally rotate to cup-shaped, with pockets holding anthers until dehiscence ..... KALMIA
24' Corolla generally not cup-shaped to rotate, without pockets
25. Lf < 5 mm wide, margin strongly rolled under, abaxial surface < 1/3 visible; bud scales 0 ..... PHYLLODOCE
25' Lf > 5 mm wide, margin not strongly rolled under, abaxial surface > 1/3 visible (except sometimes in bud); buds scales deciduous or ± persistent
26. Corolla urn-shaped to ± spheric, 6–7(13) mm; leaves deciduous ..... MENZIESIA
26' Corolla widely bell- to funnel-shaped, 10–50 mm; leaves deciduous or evergreen ..... RHODODENDRON (2)
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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