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Key to families | Table of families and genera

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.



Nancy J. Vivrette, John Bleck & Wayne R. Ferren, Jr., family description, key to genera

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, generally fleshy. Stem: underground to erect; root fibrous or tuberous. Leaf: generally simple, entire, flat, cylindric, 3-angled, or scale-like, generally cauline, generally opposite; stipules generally 0; blade papillate, pubescent, or generally glabrous, often glaucous. Inflorescence: cyme or 1-flowered, generally terminal. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium present; sepals (3)5(8), often unequal; petals 0 or many in several whorls, free or fused at base, linear; stamens 1–many, free or fused in groups, outer often petal-like; nectary a ring or separate glands; pistil 1, ovary superior to inferior, chambers 1–20, placentas generally parietal, styles 0–20. Fruit: berry, nut, or generally capsule, opening by flaps or circumscissile. Seed: 1–many per chamber, generally ovoid, arilled or not.
130 genera, 2500 species: generally subtropics, especially southern Africa; many cultivated. [Hartmann 2002 Illus Handbook Succulent Plants Aizoaceae A-E (Vol 1) and F-Z (Vol 2). Springer; Vivrette et al. 2003 FNANM 4:75–91] Galenia pubescens (Eckl. & Zeyh.) Druce, a waif, may be naturalizing in southern California. —Scientific Editors: Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Ferren et al. 1981 Madroño 28:80–85; Smith 1998 Mesembs of the World. Briza.]
Unabridged note: Disphyma crassifolium (L.) L. Bolus (ovary glands convex, minute-crenate; stigmas dense-plumose; fruit chambers 5; seeds ovate, ± smooth), of tribe Ruschieae, an historical waif in California; Lampranthus coccineus (Haw.) N.E. Br.: (ovary glands fused; fruit chambers 5; seeds pear-shaped, ± black, rough), of Ruschieae, an historical waif or urban weed in California.

Key to Aizoaceae

1. Petals, petal-like stamens 0

2. Ovary inferior (subfam. Tetragonioideae) ..... TETRAGONIA

2' Ovary ± 1/2-inferior to superior (subfam. Aizooideae)

3. Leaves alternate ..... [GALENIA]

3' Leaves ± opposite

4. Stamens 30; styles (2)3–5; leaves of opposite pair equal ..... SESUVIUM

4' Stamens <= 10; styles 1–2; leaves of opposite pair unequal

5. Stamens generally 3; stipules fringed ..... CYPSELEA

5' Stamens 5–10; stipules of 2 teeth ..... TRIANTHEMA

1' Petals, petal-like stamens many

6. Placentas axile (subfam. Aptenioideae)

7. Sepals, ovary chambers 4 ..... APTENIA

7' Sepals, ovary chambers (4)5 ..... MESEMBRYANTHEMUM

6' Placentas parietal (subfam. Ruschioideae)

8. Fruit fleshy or a capsule, valves separating; stigmas, ovary chambers 8–20

9. Basal rosette 0, cauline leaves opposite; fruit fleshy, indehiscent (tribe Carpobroteae) ..... CARPOBROTUS

9' Basal rosette present, cauline leaves generally alternate; fruit capsule, tardily dehiscent (tribe Apatesieae) ..... CONICOSIA

8' Fruit a capsule, valves not separating; stigmas, ovary chambers 4–8(12) (tribe Ruschieae)

10. Ovary chambers 8(12) ..... MALEPHORA

10' Ovary chambers 4–6

11. Sepals unequal; stigmas awl-shaped ..... DELOSPERMA

11' Sepals equal; stigmas thread-like ..... DROSANTHEMUM


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [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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