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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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Alan T. Whittemore, except as noted

Tree, shrub, [woody vine]. Leaf: opposite [alternate], generally palmately or ternately [pinnately] lobed to compound, deciduous, petioled; stipules 0. Inflorescence: umbel, panicle, or pendent raceme, axillary or terminal. Flower: unisexual or bisexual, radial or ± bilateral; sepals (4)5, free or fused; petals 0, 4, or 5(6); prominent disk between petals and stamens; stamens 5–12, free; ovary superior, chambers 2–3, each 2[1]-ovuled, style short or 0, stigmas 2(3), linear, or 1, unlobed. Fruit: 2(3) 1-seeded mericarps, conspicuously winged, or generally leathery, generally 1[many]-seeded capsule [berry, nut, drupe].
150 genera, 1500 species: ± worldwide. Acer traditionally placed in Aceraceae, Aesculus in Hippocastanaceae. Cupaniopsis anacardioides (A. Rich.) Radlk. possibly naturalizing in southern California. —Scientific Editors: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Unabridged references: [Harrington, M.G., K.J. Edwards, S.A. Johnson, M.W. Chase, & P.A. Gadek. 2005. Phylogenetic inference in Sapindaceae sensu lato using plastid matK and rbcL DNA sequences. Syst Bot 30: 366–382.]
Unabridged note: Acer and Aesculus have traditionally been placed in small families (Aceraceae and Hippocastanaceae, respectively). However, virtually all the traits considered characteristic of these two small families are also found in the closely related large family Sapindaceae, and it seems more reasonable to emphasize the close relationship of the whole group by treating it as a single family, rather than maintaining two small segregate families that differ from Sapindaceae in virtually nothing except opposite leaves (Harrington et al. 2005).

Key to Sapindaceae


William J. Stone

Large shrub or tree. Leaf: palmate, leaflets 5–7[9]. Flower: petals 4[5], >> sepals. Fruit: capsule leathery. Seed: 1, large.
± 15 species: northern hemisphere. (Latin name for a sp. of oak)

A. californica (Spach) Nutt. CALIFORNIA BUCKEYE
Plant 4–12 m, broad, rounded. Leaf: leaflets 5–7, 6–17 cm, lance-oblong, finely serrate, acute to acuminate; petiole 1–12 cm. Inflorescence: panicle-like, erect, 1–2 dm, finely hairy; pedicel 3–10 mm. Flower: calyx 5–8 mm, 2-lobed; petals 12–18 mm, white to pale rose; stamens 5–7, 18–30 mm, exserted, anthers orange. Fruit: generally 1 at inflorescence tip, occasionally 2–9, 5–8 cm diam. Seed: generally 1, 2–5 cm, glossy brown.
2n=40. Dry slopes, canyons, borders of streams; < 1700 m. c&s Northwestern California, s Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada Foothills, n&c High Sierra Nevada, Tehachapi Mountain Area, Great Central Valley (scattered near foothills), n&c Central Western California, Western Transverse Ranges, sw Mojave Desert; southwestern Oregon. All parts TOXIC. Native Americans used ground seed as fish poison; nectar and pollen TOXIC to honeybees. Generally deciduous Jun–Feb. May–Jun(Aug) [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 28 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Aesculus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 28 2015

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click for enlargement Aesculus californica
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Beatrice F. Howitt 1999 California Academy of Sciences

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Aesculus californica 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.