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Martin F. Wojciechowski, except as noted

Annual to tree. Leaf: generally alternate, generally compound, generally stipuled, generally entire, pinnately veined Inflorescence: generally raceme, spike, umbel or head; or flowers 1–few in axils. Flower: generally bisexual, generally bilateral; hypanthium 0 or flat to tubular; sepals generally 5, generally fused; petals generally 5, free, fused, or lower 2 ± united into keel (see 3, Key to Groups, for banner, wings); stamens 10 or many (or [1], 5, 6, 7, 9), free or fused or 10 with 9 filaments at least partly fused, 1 (uppermost) free; pistil 1, ovary superior, generally 1-chambered, ovules 1–many, style, stigma 1. Fruit: legume, including a stalk-like base (above receptacle) or not. Seed: 1–many, often ± reniform, generally hard, smooth.
± 730 genera, 19400 species: worldwide; with grasses, requisite in agriculture, most natural ecosystems. Many cultivated, most importantly Arachis, peanut; Glycine, soybean; Phaseolus, beans; Medicago, alfalfa; Trifolium, clovers; many orns. [Lewis et al. (eds) 2005 Legumes of the World. RBG, Kew] Unless stated otherwise, fruit length including stalk-like base, number of 2° leaflets is per 1° leaflet. Upper suture of fruit adaxial, lower abaxial. Anthyllis vulneraria L. evidently a waif, a contaminant of legume seed from Europe. Laburnum anagyroides Medik., collected on Mount St. Helena in 1987, may be naturalized. Ceratonia siliqua L., carob tree (Group 2), differs from Gleditsia triacanthos L. in having evergreen (vs deciduous) leaves that are 1-pinnate (vs 1-pinnate on spurs on old stems, 2-pinnate on new stems) with 2–5(8) (vs 7–17) 1° leaflets, commonly cultivated, now naturalized in southern California. Aeschynomene rudis Benth. <Noxious weed>, Halimodendron halodendron (Pall.) Voss <Noxious weed> (possibly extirpated), Lens culinaris Medik. are agricultural weeds. Caragana arborescens Lam. only cultivated. Ononis alopecuroides L. <Noxious weed>, Sphaerophysa salsula (Pall.) DC. <Noxious weed> all evidently extirpated. Cercidium moved to Parkinsonia; Chamaecytisus to Cytisus; Psoralidium lanceolatum to Ladeania. —Scientific Editors: Martin F. Wojciechowski, Thomas J. Rosatti.

Key to Fabaceae


Martin F. Wojciechowski & Elizabeth McClintock

Shrub, tree, unarmed; deciduous. Leaf: simple, alternate, cordate to reniform, ± leathery, glabrous. Inflorescence: umbel-like, axillary on short spur or ± sessile on woody branches. Flower: bilateral, generally appearing before leaves; sepals fused at base; petals pink-purple, banner inside wings in bud, keel petals free; stamens 10, generally included, free. Fruit: dehiscent, oblong, flat. Seed: 2–8.
10 species: northern hemisphere. (Greek: applied perhaps to a poplar, but also to Cercis siliquastrum L., Judas tree)
Unabridged etymology: (Greek: from cerkis, applied perhaps to a poplar, but also to C. siliquastrum, Judas tree)
Unabridged references: [Isely 1975 Mem New York Bot Gard 25(2):134–150]

C. occidentalis A. Gray WESTERN REDBUD
Shrub, tree < 7 m, glabrous. Leaf: < 10 cm; petiole 15–20 mm. Inflorescence: 2–5-flowered. Flower: keel 12–13 mm, > wings, banner. Fruit: 5–8 cm.
Dry, shrubby slopes, canyons, streambanks, chaparral, foothill woodland, yellow-pine forest; 100–1500 m. Northwestern California, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, Great Central Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, Outer South Coast Ranges, San Gabriel Mountains, San Bernardino Mountains, Peninsular Ranges, Modoc Plateau; to southwestern Oregon, Utah, Texas. [Cercis orbiculata Greene; Cercis canadensis L. var. orbiculata (Greene) Barneby] Mar–May [Online Interchange]
Unabridged note: Some authorities consider C. orbiculata Greene to be the correct name (see ICPN). Expanded author citation: Cercis occidentalis Torr. ex A. Gray

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Cercis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015

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click for enlargement Cercis occidentalis
See CalPhotos for additional images
1994 Gary A. Monroe

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Cercis occidentalis 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.