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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.


Perennial herb, subshrub. Stem: repeatedly forked, decumbent to erect. Leaf: generally petioled. Inflorescence: branches ending in umbel-like cluster or solitary flowers; bracts 5(9), ± fused (or not) into calyx-like, bell- to saucer-shaped involucre; flowers in 1 involucre 1–16, generally not blooming together; flowers cleistogamous or not. Flower: radial or ± bilateral; perianth funnel- to bell-shaped, lobes 5; stamens 3–5, generally exserted; stigma ± spheric, generally exserted. Fruit: ± round to club-shaped; ribs or angles 0, 5, 10; wings 0.
± 60 species: America, Himalayas. (Latin: wonderful) [Spellenberg 2003 FNANM 4:40–57] Flowers open in evening, close in morning; species intergrade, taxonomy unsettled.

Key to Mirabilis

1. Fruit < 3 mm wide, ribs 5, strong, generally with prominent warts or coarse wrinkles between; involucre enlarged, brown, papery in fruit

2. Leaf petioled, lanceolate or wider

3. Involucre in flower hairy throughout on outside, in fruit generally < 8 mm ..... M. albida

3' Involucre in flower short-hairy at base, glabrous on lobes, in fruit 10–15 mm ..... [M. nyctaginea]

2' Leaf ± sessile, linear to narrowly lanceolate

4. Perianth bright red, 3–4 × length of involucre in flower ..... M. coccinea

4' Perianth pale pink to magenta, ± 2 × length of involucre in flower ..... M. linearis var. linearis

1' Fruit often > 3 mm wide, ribs or angles 0, 5, 10, moderate to inconspicuous, sometimes with low wrinkles or warts between; involucre little changed in fruit

5. Involucre 3–16-flowered, bracts > 15 mm, free to fused

6. Perianth ± 15 mm, bell-shaped; bracts 15–30 mm, free to ± 1/2 fused ..... M. alipes

6' Perianth 40–60 mm, funnel-shaped; bracts > 22 mm, > 1/2 fused

7. Fruit bluntly 5-angled ..... M. greenei

7' Fruit not angled, often with 10 lines or low ribs ..... M. multiflora

8. Fruit faintly warty, ribs generally inconspicuous, gelatinous when wet ..... var. glandulosa

8' Fruit ± smooth, with 10 slender, tan, sometimes raised ribs, generally alternating with 10 brown, often interrupted lines, not gelatinous when wet ..... var. pubescens

5' Involucre 1(2)-flowered, bracts < 15 mm, fused

9. Perianth 30–50 mm; fruit with 5 blunt ribs, ± wrinkled or warty between ..... M. jalapa var. jalapa

9' Perianth < 15 mm; fruit unmarked or with generally 10 obscure lines, ± wrinkled or warty between or not

10. Involucre 8–13 mm, lobes > tube, narrowly lanceolate; perianth ± white; leaves ascending ..... M. tenuiloba

10' Involucre 3–7 mm, lobes < tube, ± ovate; perianth white to magenta; leaves widely spreading ..... M. laevis

11. Perianth pink to purple-red (white); leaf puberulent or glandular-hairy ..... var. crassifolia

11' Perianth white (pale pink); leaf generally ± glandular-hairy

12. Fruit ± spheric, generally with 5–10 visible lines; stems, leaves with short, reflexed hairs, generally also ± glandular-hairy ..... var. retrorsa

12' Fruit generally ± ovoid, generally with 0 visible lines, rarely 5–10 barely visible lines; stems, leaves glandular-hairy ..... var. villosa


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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