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LYTHRACEAE LOOSESTRIFE FAMILY

Shirley A. Graham

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 [0]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

LYTHRUM LOOSESTRIFE
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.
± 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)

Key to Lythrum

L. hyssopifolia L.
NATURALIZED
Annual or short-lived perennial herb, not heterostylous. Stem: 1–6 dm; lower branches decumbent to ascending or erect, glabrous, upper few. Leaf: 0.5–3 cm, ± erect, ± glaucous, lower opposite, oblong to elliptic, upper generally alternate, linear. Inflorescence: flowers 1 per axil, sessile. Flower: hypanthium 4–6 mm, cylindric, 4–5 × longer than wide; epicalyx lobes awl-like, ± 2 × > sepals; petals 2–5 mm, pink to rose; stamens 4–6, included; style ± exserted. Fruit: ovoid-oblong, >= hypanthium.
2n=20. Marshes, drying pond margins, disturbed ground; < 1600 m. California Floristic Province; to Canada, eastern United States; native to Europe. Apr–Oct {Weed listed by Cal-IPC} [Online Interchange]

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Next taxon: Lythrum portula

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Dec 20 2014
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=32401, accessed on Dec 20 2014

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Lythrum hyssopifolia 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.