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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

FRANGULA COFFEE BERRY
Shrub, small tree. Stem: branches alternate, flexible; winter bud scales 0. Leaf: scattered along branches or clustered on short-shoots, deciduous or not; stipules generally deciduous; petioled; blade veins prominent or not. Inflorescence: umbel or flowers 1 in axils. Flower: bisexual; hypanthium 1–3 mm wide, cup-shaped; sepals 5, erect, fleshy, keeled adaxially; petals 5, short-clawed; stamens 5; disk thin, adherent to hypanthium; ovary ± inferior, chambers 2–3, 1–2-ovuled, stigma 2–3-lobed. Fruit: drupe, 2–3[4]-stoned.
50 species: temperate, w. Med, Eurasia. (Frangible: capable of being broken) [Sawyer & Edwards 2007 Madroño 54:172–174] Often a subg. of Rhamnus; some of value in food, medicine.
Unabridged references: [Bolmgren & Oxelman 2004 Taxon 53:383–390; Wolf 1938 Rancho Santa Ana Bot Gard Monogr 1.]

Key to Frangula

F. rubra (Greene) Grubov SIERRA COFFEE BERRY
NATIVE
Shrub, < 2 m. Stem: bark red to bright gray; twigs red to gray; terminal bud hairy. Leaf: generally scattered along stem, deciduous; petiole 2–12 mm; blade 15–80 mm, narrowly elliptic to obovate, thin, green or gray, generally glabrous to finely hairy or abaxially puberulent on midrib, veins, acute to rounded at base, tip, margin finely toothed to entire, veins not prominent. Inflorescence: 4–15-flowered; pedicel 1–12 mm. Flower: hypanthium 2 mm wide. Fruit: 2(3)-stoned, 12 mm, black. [Rhamnus rubra Greene] 1 other subsp., in Nevada. [Online Interchange]
Unabridged synonyms: [Rhamnus californica var. rubra (Greene) Trel.; Rhamnus californica var. obtusissima (Greene) Jeps., in part, misappl.]
Unabridged note: Frangula rubra subsp. nevadensis (A. Nelson) Kartesz & Gandhi in Nevada. The Frangula rubra complex is a group of closely related plants that needs study. In NV they reach only Douglas and Washoe counties. C.B. Wolf's descriptions (1938) provide only a single distinct character to separate the subspecies, but field and herbarium study argue for the recognition of infraspecific taxa even with the intermediates and variants. The range of Frangula rubra subsp. obtusissima, in central Sierra Nevada, is central, and Wolf reported "intergradations in various degrees" between it and all the other subspecies. Furthermore, Frangula rubra subsp. yosemitana and Frangula californica subsp. cuspidata grow along the east side of Sierra Nevada and can be easily confused. Plants of both taxa can be deciduous, but Wolf noted differences in pubescence and in leaf margin characters to differentiate the 2, although both are variable throughout their ranges.

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Oct 25 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Frangula, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=26044, accessed on Oct 25 2014

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click for enlargement Frangula rubra
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2006 Steve Matson

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Frangula rubra 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.
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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.