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Key to families | Table of families and genera
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[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 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
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.Key to Ceanothus
± 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.
Plant erect, open, generally < 1.5 m. Stem: ± spreading to generally ascending; twigs flexible, not thorn-like, green. Leaf: alternate, deciduous; stipules scale-like; petiole 1–5 mm; blade 8–21 mm, 3–12 mm wide, oblong-elliptic to elliptic, flat, adaxially shiny green, glabrous, abaxially paler, generally glabrous, 1–3-ribbed from base, tip obtuse, margin generally entire. Inflorescence: raceme- to panicle-like, 4–9 cm. Flower: blue. Fruit: 3.5–5 mm wide, sticky; horns 0.
2n=24. Slopes, flats, conifer forest; 1255–2220 m. High Sierra Nevada. May–Jul [Online Interchange]
Previous taxon: Ceanothus parryi
Next taxon: Ceanothus perplexans
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Jul 28 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=18487, accessed on Jul 28 2014
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© 2002 Christopher L. Christie
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