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Perennial herb, shrub, tree, woody vine; juvenile, flower plants generally unlike. Stem: generally branched. Leaf: simple or compound, generally alternate; stipules ± fused to ± sheathing, petiole base or 0. Inflorescence: umbels 1 to panicled; bracts deciduous or not. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial, generally < 5 mm; sepals generally 5, fused at base, inconspicuous, persistent; petals generally 5, free, ± white to green, deciduous; stamens generally 5, generally alternate petals; ovary inferior, chambers 1–15, 1-ovuled, styles as many as chambers, free or fused, persistent. Fruit: berry or drupe, occasionally flat, dry.
47 genera, 1350 species: especially tropics, subtropics medicinal (e.g., Panax, ginseng; Aralia, sarsaparilla), ornamental (e.g., Aralia, Fatsia, Hedera, Polyscias). [Plunkett et al. 2004 Plant Syst Evol 245:1–39] —Scientific Editors: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Key to Araliaceae
Perennial herb, creeping or sprawling, glabrous [hairy]; rhizomes or stem rooting at nodes. Leaf: simple; petiole scarious-stipuled, not sheathing; blade ± round, peltate or not, entire to deeply lobed. Inflorescence: simple umbels, occasionally spikes, open or dense; bracts 0 or inconspicuous; pedicels 0–many, spreading. Flower: calyx lobes 0 or minute; petals obtuse or acute, ± green to ± yellow-white or ± purple, tip not incurved. Fruit: elliptic to round, very compressed side-to-side; ribs ± equal, thread-like, distinct or not; oil tubes 0, fruit wall with individual oil cells; fruit central axis not obvious. Seed: face flat to convex.Key to Hydrocotyle
± 100 species: worldwide, especially southern hemisphere. (Greek: water cup, apparently from leaf shape) Hydrocotyle moschata G. Forst., Hydrocotyle ranunculoides, and Hydrocotyle sibthorpioides Lam. occasionally reported as lawn weeds.
Creeping. Leaf: petiole 0.5–25 cm, slender; blade 1–4 cm wide, round, peltate, shallowly, crenately, ± equally 8–13-lobed, or margin crenate. Inflorescence: peduncles 1.5–20 cm; spikes, occasionally forked, to 15-flowered, flowers whorled; pedicels 0 or short. Fruit: 1–3 mm, elliptic; ribs acute, evident.
Lake margins, ponds, slow-moving streams, canals, seeps, springs, marshes; < 1400 m. s Outer North Coast Ranges, n&c Sierra Nevada, s Sierra Nevada Foothills, Great Central Valley, Central Western California (except Inner South Coast Ranges), Southwestern California (except Channel Islands, San Jacinto Mountains), White and Inyo Mountains, Desert; to eastern North America, South America, Hawaii, southern Africa. Apr–Sep [Online Interchange]
Unabridged synonyms: [Hydrocotyle verticillata var. triradiata (A. Rich.) Fernald]
Previous taxon: Hydrocotyle umbellata
Next taxon: Asteraceae
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Mar 11 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2012. Hydrocotyle, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=28611, accessed on Mar 11 2014
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