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RHAMNACEAE BUCKTHORN FAMILY

John O. Sawyer, Jr., except as noted

[Perennial herb] shrub, tree, generally erect, often thorny. Leaf: simple, generally alternate, often clustered on short-shoots; stipules generally present, occasionally modified into spines; generally petioled; blade pinnate-veined or 1–5-ribbed from base. Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, umbel, or flowers 1 or clustered in axils or on short-shoots. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium subtending, surrounding, or partly fused to ovary; sepals 4–5; petals 0, 4–5, generally clawed; stamens 0, 4–5, alternate sepals, attached to hypanthium top, each generally fitting into a petal concavity; disk (0 or) between stamens, ovary, thin to fleshy, entire or lobed, free from ovary, adherent or fused to hypanthium; ovary superior or ± inferior, chambers [1]2–4, 1–2-ovuled, style 1, stigma entire or 2–3-lobed. Fruit: capsule, drupe.
50–52 genera, 950 species: especially tropics, subtropics some cultivated (Ceanothus; Frangula; Rhamnus; Ziziphus). [Richardson et al. 2000 Amer J Bot 87:1309–1324] —Scientific Editors: Steve Boyd, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Brizicky 1965 J Arnold Arbor 45:439–463; Richardson et al. 2000 Kew Bull 55:311–341]

Key to Rhamnaceae

CEANOTHUS CALIFORNIA-LILAC

Dieter H. Wilken

Shrub, tree-like or not, generally erect or mat- to mound-like. Stem: branches generally arranged like leaves; twigs thorn-like or not, generally not angled. Leaf: alternate or opposite, some clustered on short-shoots or not, deciduous or evergreen; stipules scale-like, thin, deciduous, or knob-like, corky, thick, base persistent; blade flat or wavy, tip generally acute to obtuse, margin thick (i.e., thicker than adjacent blade) or not, rolled under or not, wavy or not, entire or gland- or sharp-toothed, glands generally dark, teeth pale, alternate blade 1–3-ribbed from base, generally thin, opposite blade 1-ribbed from base, thick, firm. Inflorescence: umbel-, raceme-, or panicle-like aggregations of few-flowered clusters, axillary or terminal; pedicels white to deep blue or pink. Flower: conspicuous, generally < 5 mm; hypanthium surrounding fleshy disk below ovary base, in fruit thick, not splitting; sepals generally 5, lance-deltate, incurved, colored like petals, persistent; petals generally 5, blade hood-like, white to deep blue or pink; stamens generally 5, opposite petals; ovary 1/2-inferior, 3-lobed, chambers 3, each 1-ovuled, styles 3. Fruit: capsule, ± spheric, generally ± 3-lobed, generally smooth, 3-ridged or not, horned or not. Seed: 3, 2–5 mm.
± 55 species: North America. (Greek: thorny plant) [Fross & Wilken 2006 Ceanothus. Timber Press] Hybrids common (named hybrids not recognized here), discussed in Fross & Wilken; hybrid forms do not key easily. As recircumscribed here, Ceanothus greggii A. Gray restricted to Mexico.

Key to Ceanothus

C. vestitus Greene MOJAVE CEANOTHUS
NATIVE
Plant erect, ± open, 0.8–2 m. Stem: ascending to erect, generally intricately branched; twigs pale gray to ± white, not angled, densely puberulent to short-tomentose. Leaf: opposite, evergreen; stipules knob-like; petiole 1–3 mm; blade 5–20 mm, 3–19 mm wide, oblanceolate to ± round, adaxially concave, gray-green to yellow-green, puberulent, glabrous in age, abaxially convex, gray-green, glabrous to short-curly-puberulent, tip generally acute to obtuse, margin generally not thick, generally not rolled under, entire or teeth 3–5, sharp. Inflorescence: umbel-like, generally 1–1.5 cm. Flower: generally white. Fruit: 3–5 mm wide, ± 3-ridged distally; horns 0 or < 1 mm.
Slopes, flats, chaparral, woodland, conifer forest; 550–2600 m. s High Sierra Nevada, Tehachapi Mountain Area, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, East of Sierra Nevada, Desert Mountains; to Utah, Texas, northern Mexico. [Ceanothus greggii A. Gray var. vestitus (Greene) McMinn] Ceanothus greggii A. Gray restricted to Mexico. Mar–May [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Jul 24 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Ceanothus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=18453, accessed on Jul 24 2014

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click for enlargement Ceanothus vestitus
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© 2011 Steve Matson

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