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Thomas F. Daniel, Margriet Wetherwax & Lawrence R. Heckard, except as noted

[Annual, perennial herb to] shrub, [tree], nodes generally swollen. Leaf: simple, generally opposite, entire (toothed [lobed]); stipules 0. Inflorescence: variable, with bracts, generally also bractlets. Flower: bisexual; calyx deeply (3)4–5 lobed [(sepals free)]; corolla 4–5 lobed, radial to 2-lipped; stamens 2 or 4, epipetalous, anther sacs sometimes dissimilar in size or placement; ovary superior, 4–many-ovuled, chambers 1–2, placentas axile (free central), stigmas 1–2. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal, generally dehiscing explosively, valves 2. Seed: 1–4[+], each generally subtended by hook-like outgrowth that remains in fruit.
220 genera, 4000 species: especially tropics; some ornamental: Justicia (Beloperone, shrimp-plant), Acanthus, Thunbergia. [Daniel 1998 Proc Calif Acad Sci 50:217–256; Hilu et al. 2003 Amer J Bot 90:1758–1766; Schwarzbach & McDade 2002 Syst Bot 27:84–98] —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Daniel 1984 Desert Plant 5:162–179; Daniel 1998 Proc Calif Acad Sci 50:217–256]

Key to Acanthaceae

Subshrub, shrub. Inflorescence: generally spike- [or panicle-]like. Flower: corolla 4-lobed (but petals 5), tube < lobes, slender, barely wider at throat, uppermost lobe generally notched (2 petals ± entirely fused), 2 lateral ascending or reflexed, lowest ± keeled, included stamens, style; stamens 2, anther sacs ± equally placed on filament, opening toward uppermost lobe, not spurred. Fruit: compressed-ovoid; stalk ± flat. Seed: 4, disk-like, notched at base.
24 species: especially southwestern United States, Mexico. (Charles Wright, American botanical collector, 1811–1885) [Daniel et al. 2008 Syst Bot 33:416–436]
Unabridged references: [Daniel 1988 Brittonia 40:245–255]

Stem: multi-branched, < 1 m; hairs erect or recurved, minute. Leaf: variable in size, shape; blade generally < 5 cm, lanceolate to elliptic or cordate, puberulent; petiole 0–8 mm. Inflorescence: flowers 1–several per bract. Flower: calyx 1.5–5 mm, lobes 5, narrow-triangular; corolla 1–1.8 cm, white with yellow, maroon-streaked spot on upper lobe. Fruit: 7–11 mm, glabrous. Seed: 3–4 mm, tubercled; margin finely dentate.
2n=36. Rocky slopes; ± 300 m. w Sonoran Desert (Flat Cat, Palm canyons, Anza Borrego); to Texas, Central America. Apr–Jun [Online Interchange] {CNPS list}

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 24 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Carlowrightia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 24 2015

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click for enlargement Carlowrightia arizonica
See CalPhotos for additional images
© 2012 Keir Morse

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Carlowrightia arizonica 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.