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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.


Annual. Stem: 2–40 cm, strigose, breaking at nodes or not. Leaf: generally alternate, generally 0.5–4 cm, ± linear, strigose to sharp-bristled. Inflorescence: bracted or not; pedicel in fruit generally free from nutlets, generally recurved. Flower: basal cleistogamous flowers generally 0; calyx generally < fruit, lobes free, not arched over 1 nutlet, with hooked or straight prickles, in fruit ± equal or, if unequal, upper 2 > others; corolla funnel-shaped, white, limb 0.5–2.5 mm diam, appendages white or yellow; style attached to receptacle, unbranched, generally persistent, stigma 1, head-like. Fruit: nutlets generally 4, generally paired, often dissimilar in shape, ornamentation, margin width, spreading, 1–4.5 mm, generally compressed, marginal prickles straight or hooked at tip.
15 species: to British Columbia, Wyoming, Texas, northwestern Mexico; South America. (Greek: comb nut, from bristly to dentate nutlet margins of some species) Nutlets of basal, cleistogamous flowers (present in Pectocarya heterocarpa, Pectocarya peninsularis) unusual, not to be used in key. {hort link}
Unabridged references: [Veno 1979 Ph.D. Dissertation Univ of California, Los Angeles]
Unabridged note: Flowers generally of 1 kind with observable white corolla occurring on the cauline inflorescence sections, except for Pectocarya heterocarpa, Pectocarya peninsularis, which also produce cleistogamous flowers, without an observable corolla, that occur at stem bases and produce nutlet shapes not represented in the diagnostic key.

Key to Pectocarya

1. Nutlets paired or not, ± round or obovate to ± equally 4-sided, margins ± entire; calyx radial, lobes > nutlets; lower cauline leaves opposite, fused at base

2. Nutlets not paired, ± diamond-shaped; calyx lobe tip bristles hooked; stem branched ± near base; pedicel in fruit 1–2.3 mm ..... P. pusilla

2' Nutlets paired, ± round to obovate; calyx lobe tip bristles not hooked; stem branched above; pedicel in fruit ± 0.5 mm ..... P. setosa

1' Nutlets paired, linear or oblanceolate to oblong or ovate-elliptic, margins wavy to ± dentate; calyx bilateral, lobes < nutlets; lower cauline leaves generally alternate, not fused at base

3. Cauline nutlets dissimilar, margin of 1 pair narrow or 0, of the other wide; basal cleistogamous flowers present

4. Cauline nutlets curved in 2 planes, 1 pair incurved, the other recurved; pedicel in fruit partly fused to 1 nutlet; lower 3 calyx lobes unequal ..... P. heterocarpa

4' Cauline nutlets generally straight, all spreading in 1 plane; pedicel in fruit free from nutlets; lower 3 calyx lobes ± equal ..... P. peninsularis

3' Cauline nutlets similar, wavy-margined or dentate; basal cleistogamous flowers 0

5. Nutlet margins wavy, erect to incurved, not or ± dentate entire length ..... P. penicillata

5' Nutlet margins dentate ± entire length

6. Nutlet coiled to recurved, linear ..... P. recurvata

6' Nutlet straight to occasionally ± recurved, ± oblong to linear

7. Stem prostrate to decumbent; nutlet margin teeth width at base generally << length; nutlets straight or ± recurved at tip ..... P. linearis subsp. ferocula

7' Stem ascending to erect; nutlet margin teeth width at base ± = length; nutlets recurved, generally ± so, ± throughout ..... P. platycarpa


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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