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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


Robert E. Preston, R. David Whetstone & T.A. Atkinson

[Perennial herb] subshrub [shrub]; taproot stout. Stem: erect to trailing, twig hairs stellate or 0. Leaf: ovate-obovate, unlobed, serrate. Inflorescence: flowers 1(2) in leaf axils. Flower: generally < 3 mm wide; sepals ± spreading, narrowly ovate; petal claw thread-like, coiled, limb ± obcordate, incurved, parachute-like, sinus with an anther below and a stalked, gland-like appendage above; filament tube ± cup- or urn-shaped at top, surrounding ovary, with 5 short, stalked anthers bent out- and downward (each stalk inserted in sinus, thereby attached to petal), staminodes 5, < stamens; ovary (and fruit) stalked above receptacle. Fruit: capsule, chambers 1-seeded.
75–80 species: warm America. (Louis de Noailles, 1713–1793, who was Duc d'Ayen, 1737–1766)
Unabridged references: [Cristobal 1960 Opera Lilloana 4:1–230]

Plant 1–4 dm, much-branched at base. Leaf: stipules small, brown. Flower: sepals ± 1.5 mm; petals 2–3 mm, claws ± 2 mm. Fruit: ± 5 mm, spheric, straw-colored, with ± cylindric, ± purple protuberances. Seed: black.
Sandy and gravelly washes, dry canyons; 100–1160 m. Peninsular Ranges (desert slope), e Desert Mountains (Providence, Eagle mtns), w&c Sonoran Desert; southwestern Arizona; Baja California. Mar–Apr [Online Interchange] {CNPS list}

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Mar 31 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Ayenia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Mar 31 2015

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click for enlargement Ayenia compacta
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2004 Aaron Schusteff

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Ayenia compacta 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.