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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.


Shrub, spiny or unarmed; generally deciduous. Stem: generally ribbed or angled, green. Leaf: generally alternate, ternately 1-compound or simple, petioled; stipules fused to leaf bases (0). Inflorescence: axillary or terminal, racemes, heads, or flowers in clusters on short-shoots. Flower: bilateral; calyx generally < corolla, 2-lipped, upper 2-lobed, lobes ± 1/2 tube, lower generally 3-toothed, < upper lobes; petals 5, generally yellow, banner generally ovate or rounded, outside generally glabrous or variously hairy, keel narrowly oblong to obtuse, ± straight abaxially, often silky-hairy; stamens 10, filaments fused; style ± abruptly bent at tip. Fruit: generally dehiscent, narrowly oblong, compressed, or curved, ± inflated; pedicel < 7 mm. Seed: 1–several-seeded, generally arilled.
90 species: Europe, western Asia, northern Africa, Canary Islands. (Latin: from planta genista, from which English Plantagenet monarchs took their name) Generic circumscription difficult, but Pardo et al. (2004 Plant Syst Evol 244:93–119) suggest recognizing Genista in broad sense (i.e., including Retama, Teline, Ulex). Many naturalized California plants are hybrids involving Genista canariensis, Genista monspessulana, and Genista stenopetala Webb & Berthel. (native of Canary Islands; not in California in pure form), although determining parentage in generally often difficult.
Unabridged references: [Gibbs & Dingwall 1971 Bol Soc Brot 45:269–316]

Key to Genista

1. Leaves simple; corolla white, fruit indehiscent, generally inflated ..... G. monosperma

1' Leaves ternately 1-compound, simple on young stems; corolla yellow, fruit dehiscent, not inflated

2. Leaflet linear or narrow-oblong to -oblanceolate, length generally >= 5 × width, margins rolled under; banner silky-hairy ..... G. linifolia

2' Leaflet oblanceolate to widely obovate, elliptic, or ± round, length generally < 5 × width, margins flat; banner glabrous except for ± V-shaped hairy area along midrib especially near tip or hairy only on midrib or glabrous

3. Leaflet 5–10(12) mm; banner glabrous except for ± V-shaped hairy area along midrib especially near tip ..... G. canariensis

3' Leaflet generally 10–15 mm; banner hairy only on midrib or glabrous

4. Stipules 3–6 mm, persistent; twigs generally dull-yellow-brown-hairy; racemes terminal ..... [G. maderensis]

4' Stipules < 2 mm, deciduous; twigs silvery-silky-hairy, at least in youth; racemes axillary ..... G. monspessulana


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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