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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.
Annual to perennial herb (to tree).
Leaf: cauline or basal, alternate, opposite, or whorled, generally simple and toothed (to pinnately compound); stipules 0 or generally deciduous.
Inflorescence: spike, raceme, panicle, or flowers 1 in axils; bracted.
Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial, often opening at either dawn or dusk; hypanthium generally prolonged beyond ovary (measured from ovary tip to sepal base); sepals 4(2–7); petals 4(2–7, rarely 0), often fading darker; stamens 2 × or = sepals in number, anthers 2-chambered, opening lengthwise, pollen interconnected by threads; ovary inferior, chambers generally as many as sepals (sometimes becoming 1), placentas axile or parietal, ovules 1–many per chamber, style 1, stigma 4-lobed (or lobes as many as sepals), club-shaped, spheric, or hemispheric.
Fruit: capsule, loculicidal (sometimes berry or indehiscent and nut-like).
Seed: sometimes winged or hair-tufted.
22 genera, ± 657 species: worldwide, especially w North America; many cultivated (Clarkia, Epilobium, Fuchsia, Oenothera). [Wagner et al. 2007 Syst Bot Monogr 83:1–240] Gaura moved to Oenothera. Fuchsia magellanica Lam. naturalized in n CA. —Scientific Editors: Robert Patterson, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Unabridged references: [Munz 1965 North America Fl II 5:1–278]
1. Sepals persistent after flower; flower parts in (3)4–5(7)s; hypanthium 0 ..... LUDWIGIA
1' Sepals deciduous after flower (along with other flower parts); flower parts in (2)4s; hypanthium present, often elongate, or if 0 then petals rose-purple to pink, rarely white, or flowers bilateral
2. Stipules present, occasionally deciduous; fruit indehiscent, bur-like with hooked hairs; flower parts in 2s; stigmas maturing before anthers ..... CIRCAEA
2' Stipules 0; fruit generally dehiscent capsule, rarely indehiscent but not bur-like; flower parts in (3)4s; anthers generally maturing before stigmas
3. Seeds hair-tufted (tufts rarely secondarily lost); sepals erect; stigmas dry with multicellular papillae
4. Lvs generally alternate; hypanthium 0; petals entire; stamens ± equal, in 1 whorl; pollen blue-gray, grains shed singly ..... CHAMERION
4' Lvs opposite at least at base; hypanthium 0.3–34 mm; petals notched; stamens in 2 unequal whorls; pollen cream, grains generally shed in 4s ..... EPILOBIUM
3' Seeds not hair-tufted; sepals reflexed; stigmas mainly wet and nonpapillate or with dry unicellular papillae
5. Stigma 4-lobed, dry, papillae unicellular; anthers generally maturing before stigmas ..... CLARKIA
5' Stigma hemispheric, peltate or 4-lobed, wet, papillae 0; anthers not maturing before stigmas
6. Fr 2-chambered; stems slender, hair-like ..... GAYOPHYTUM
6' Fr (3)4-chambered; stems generally not slender
7. Seeds with concave and convex sides, concave side with thick wing, both sides densely covered with club-shaped hairs; petals white, base yellow ..... CHYLISMIELLA
7' Seeds generally not concave and convex, wing 0, club-shaped hairs 0; petals yellow, purple, red, or white, if white, generally lacking yellow base
8. Ovary tip projection 0.4–18 cm; stem 0
9. Perennial; fruit cylindric-ovoid, ± straight or slightly curved, ± angled to nearly smooth, lacking pointed wing near center top of each valve, walls generally thin, distended by seeds; sterile projection of ovary persistent with fertile part in fruit, without abscission lines at juncture between hypanthium and fertile part of ovary ..... TARAXIA
9' Annual; fruit irregularly obovoid, sharply 4-angled with pointed wing near center top of each valve, thick walled, not distended by seeds; sterile projection of ovary with clear abscission line at juncture between short hypanthium and fertile part of ovary ..... TETRAPTERON
8' Ovary tip projection 0, occasionally ± tapering; stem generally present
10. Stigma 4-lobed ..... OENOTHERA
10' Stigma hemispheric to spheric or cylindric
11. Seeds in 2 rows per chamber; fruit pedicelled; leaves often ± basal, pinnately lobed with large terminal lobe, occasionally either lateral lobes ± reduced or leaf ovate-cordate and long-petioled; abaxial leaf surface or margin with conspicuous (brown) oil cells ..... CHYLISMIA
11' Seeds in 1 row per chamber; fruit sessile or occasionally short-pedicelled (Camissonia kernensis); leaves generally not predominately basal, entire to pinnately lobed and if so then terminal lobe not conspicuously larger than lateral; leaf oil cells 0
12. Petals white, pink, or rarely red; flowers night-blooming ..... EREMOTHERA
12' Petals yellow, often with red flecks; flowers day-blooming
13. Fl stems wand-like; leaves pinnately lobed to occasionally entire; petals yellow with red flecks near base; seeds generally with purple spots; hypanthium with lobed disk ..... EULOBUS
13' Fl stems not wand-like; leaves entire to toothed; petals yellow, occasionally with 2 red spots at base, or white; seeds without purple spots; hypanthium without lobed disk
14. Distal stem densely leafy, proximal stem nearly leafless; branches many, slender, ascending from base of plant; fruit strongly flattened, straight, 0.5–1 cm ..... NEOHOLMGRENIA
14' St generally leafy throughout, branched throughout or with a few basal branches; fruit cylindric to quadrangular, not flattened, often wavy or curled, (0.8)1–6 cm
15. Fr ± cylindric; plants flower from distal nodes; leaves generally linear to narrowly elliptic; seeds glossy, triangular in ×-section, often < 1 mm ..... CAMISSONIA
15' Fr 4-angled, at least when dry; plants generally flower from basal nodes; leaves generally narrowly lanceolate, narrowly elliptic or ovate; seeds dull, often > 1 mm, flattened ..... CAMISSONIOPSIS
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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