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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Previous taxon Indexes to all accepted names and synonyms:
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Steven R. Hill, except as noted

Annual to tree; generally with stellate hairs, often with bristles or peltate scales; juice generally mucilage-like; bark fibrous. Leaf: generally cauline, alternate, petioled, simple [palmate-compound], generally palmate-lobed and/or veined, generally toothed, evergreen or not; stipules persistent or not. Inflorescence: head, spike, raceme, or panicle, in panicle or not (a compound panicle), or flowers >= 1 in leaf axils, or flowers generally 1 opposite a leaf or on a spur; bracts leaf-like or not; bractlets 0 or on flowering stalks, often closely subtending calyx, generally in involucel. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; sepals 5, generally fused at base, abutting in bud, larger in fruit or not, nectaries as tufts of glandular hairs at base; petals (0)5, free from each other but generally fused at base to, falling with filament tube, clawed or not; stamens 5–many, filaments fused for most of length into tube around style, staminodes 5, alternate stamens, or generally 0; pistil 1, ovary superior, stalked or generally not, chambers generally >= 5, styles or style branches, stigmas generally 1 or 1–2 × chamber number. Fruit: loculicidal capsule, [berry], or 5–many, disk- or wedge-shaped segments (= mericarps).
266 genera, 4025 species: worldwide, especially warm regions; some cultivated (e.g., Abelmoschus okra; Alcea hollyhock; Gossypium cotton; Hibiscus hibiscus). [Angiosperm Phylogeny Group 1998 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 85:531–553] Recently treated to include Bombacaceae, Sterculiaceae, Tiliaceae. Mature fruit needed for identification; "outer edges" are surfaces between sides and back (abaxial surface) of segment. "Flower stalk" used instead of "pedicel," "peduncle," especially where both needed (i.e., when flowers both 1 in leaf axils and otherwise). —Scientific Editors: Steven R. Hill, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Alverson et al. 1999 Amer J Bot 86:1474–1486; Bayer et al. 1999 Bot J Linn Soc 129:267–303; Hill 2009 Madroño 56:104–111]

Key to Malvaceae


Paul A. Fryxell & Steven R. Hill

Annual, perennial herb to shrub, stellate-canescent, tomentose, or bristly. Stem: generally erect (decumbent). Leaf: cordate to ovate, lobes generally 0(3), crenate or toothed. Inflorescence: panicle or flowers 1 in leaf axils; bracts leaf-like or not; involucel 0. Flower: petals yellow, yellow-orange, orange-pink, to ± red; anthers at top of filament tube; stigmas head-like. Fruit: capsule-like, ± cylindric to ± spheric, segments generally not separating fully from each other or from plant, smooth-sided, dehiscent at top, generally with beak splitting in 2, walls firm to woody. Seed: 3–6(15) per segment.
200 species: warm regions. (Arabic: possibly father of mallow) [Fryxell 1988 Syst Bot Monogr 25:24–68]
Unabridged etymology: (Arabic name, possibly from abu, father of, and Persian tula or tulha, mallow)
Unabridged references: [Borssum Waalkes 1966 Blumea 14:159–177]

Key to Abutilon

A. theophrasti Medik. VELVET-LEAF
Annual, generally scented when bruised. Stem: erect, (5)10–20 dm, generally few-branched, glandular. Leaf: blade generally 10–20 cm wide, shallowly crenate, velvety, densely stellate-hairy to tomentose. Inflorescence: panicle or flowers 1 in leaf axils. Flower: calyx 6.5–10 mm, < fruit; petals 6–8(14) mm, yellow to orange. Fruit: segments > 10, 5–15-seeded, long-soft-hairy, beaks 3–5 mm, back-pointing.
2n=42. Uncommon. Disturbed places; generally < 100 m. Inner North Coast Ranges, Great Central Valley (especially Sacramento Valley), Outer South Coast Ranges, Southwestern California, Desert; widespread worldwide; native to southern Asia. Generally weedy; reported from 42 California cos. (Holt & Boose 2000 Weed Science 48:43–52); seeds long-lived. Jul–Sep [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: In 25 of 33 cos. reported in 1991 by one study (UC survey; T. Lanini), historically or currently in 42 of 58 cos. in California by another (Holt, J.S. and A.B. Boose. 2000. Potential for spread of Abutilon theophrasti in California. Weed Science 48:43–52). Cos. where it has NOT been reported are: 12 mountain cos. (Del Norte, Siskiyou, Modoc, Lassen, Plumas, Sierra, Nevada, Placer, Alpine, Amador, Tuolumne, Mariposa cos.), along with Marin, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and Monterey cos. Also according to the 1991 study, currently most common in Colusa, Fresno, Riverside, and Yolo cos., and since 1980 reported as new in at least these cos.: Alameda, Colusa, Imperial, Inyo, Kern, Lake, San Benito, Shasta, and Ventura, in addition to those listed above known to be current.

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 26 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Abutilon, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 26 2015

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click for enlargement Abutilon theophrasti
See CalPhotos for additional images
© 2007 Neal Kramer

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Abutilon theophrasti Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.