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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.


Taproot branched or tuberous. Stem: prostrate to spreading, generally < 1 m. Leaf: blade broadly ovate to round or triangular, palmately veined (generally palmately lobed), base cordate. Inflorescence: bractlets < calyx. Flower: calyx 1–2 cm, generally 5-lobed, split to base on lower side, or sepals free; corolla 2–5 cm, bell- to funnel-shaped, showy, tube cylindric, generally < 1 cm, bent downward, throat 10–30 mm, limb with 5 flared lobes, throat and lower limb with colored lines (nectar guides). Fruit: body 5–10 cm, fusiform, smooth, rough, or spiny, crested with branched projections generally only along upper suture; claws 1.5–3 × body. Seed: 8–13 mm, angled, generally black, corky.
8 species: America. (Greek: elephant's trunk) [Bretting 1982 Amer J Bot 69:1531–1537] Fruit dispersed by attachment of claw to animals. Proboscidea parviflora subsp. parviflora not in California according to some reports, naturalized in California according to others.
Unabridged note: All California material previously identified as Proboscidea parviflora subsp. parviflora belongs instead to Proboscidea parviflora var. hohokamiana Bretting, according to some but not all reports; in California only in cultivation according to some reports, naturalized in California according to others; in Arizona cultivated by Native Americans for fibers from fruit.

Key to Proboscidea

1. Sepals free; woody fruit-body short-spiny (sect. Ibicella) ..... P. lutea

1' Sepals ± fused; woody fruit-body smooth or rough but not spiny (sect. Proboscidea)

2. Perennial herb; largest leaves <= 7 cm wide; corolla yellow to orange with various darker markings; fruit body ± 1 cm wide, lanceolate; taproot in width > stem base ..... P. althaeifolia

2' Annual; largest leaves generally > 7 cm wide; corolla white with ± purple tinge, various darker markings; fruit body 1.5–3 cm wide, narrow-ovate; taproot in width ± = stem base ..... P. louisianica subsp. louisianica


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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