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Annual, perennial herb, shrub, tree. Stem: 4-angled or cylindric. Leaf: simple, entire, generally opposite, 4-ranked (alternate, whorled). Inflorescence: flowers terminal or in axils of upper leaves or leaf-like bracts, 1 or in ± dense cymes or along short shoots, sessile or not, subtended by 2 bractlets. Flower: bisexual, generally radial; hypanthium bell-shaped to cylindric, membranous or leathery, persistent in fruit; sepals appearing as hypanthium lobes, 4–9, epicalyx lobes alternate sepals or 0; petals, stamens inserted on inner hypanthium; petals 4–6 or 0, alternate sepals, crinkled, deciduous; stamens generally = or 2 × sepals, included or exserted; ovary generally superior, chambers 2–6[many], style generally slender, stigma head-like. Fruit: dry capsule or leathery berry, dehiscent into 2–4 valves or irregularly. Seed: 3–many.
± 28 genera, 600 species: temperate, tropics, generally in wet habitats. Some ornamental or cultivated for medicine, dyes. [Graham et al. 2005 Int J Plant Sci 166:995–1017] "Epicalyx lobes" (lobes on calyx) formerly called "appendages," "hypanthium" in Lythraceae (and Onagraceae) including receptacle, sometimes called "flower cup" or "flower tube". Punicaceae (Punica) included here. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Key to Lythraceae
Annual, perennial herb. Stem: prostrate to erect, often 4-angled. Leaf: opposite, alternate, or whorled, linear to ovate or obovate, petiole 0 to short. Inflorescence: flowers generally 1–2 per axil, sessile or not. Flower: radial to ± bilateral, of 1–3 style forms (heterostylous); hypanthium cylindric or bell-shaped, ribs generally conspicuous; sepals 4–6, deltate, epicalyx lobes < to > sepals; petals 4–6 or 0; stamens 4–6 or 12, included or exserted; styles < to > stamens. Fruit: capsule, generally cylindric, rarely spheric, valves 2. Seed: many, < 1 mm.Key to Lythrum
± 35 species: temperate. (Greek: clotted blood) [Houghton-Thompson et al. 2005 Ann Bot (London) 96:877–885]
Unabridged etymology: (Greek: clotted blood, from use of Lythrum salicaria, the first named sp., to stop hemorrhaging, according to Gerard, Bull Torrey Bot Club 12: 60. 1885)
Perennial herb, heterostylous. Stem: erect, 2–6 dm, gray-glaucous; branches many, above. Leaf: 1–7 cm, ± gray-glaucous, lower opposite, linear to lance-linear, upper alternate, linear. Inflorescence: flowers 1–2 per axil, pedicel 1–3 mm. Flower: of 2 style forms; hypanthium 4–7 mm, cylindric, 2–3 × longer than wide; sepals < 1 mm, epicalyx lobes < to > sepals, horn-like; petals 4–8 mm, purple; stamens generally 6, included or exserted; style included or exserted. Fruit: ovoid, ± = hypanthium.
2n=20. Marshes, pond and stream margins; < 2200 m. s Inner North Coast Ranges, Sierra Nevada Foothills, s High Sierra Nevada, Great Central Valley, Central Western California, Southwestern California, White and Inyo Mountains, Desert; to central United States, northern Mexico. Apr–Sep [Online Interchange]
Previous taxon: Lythrum
Next taxon: Lythrum hyssopifolia
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Jul 2 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Lythrum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=32397, accessed on Jul 2 2015
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|Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Lythrum californicum|| 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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(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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