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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Previous taxon Indexes to all accepted names and synonyms:
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Michael A. Vincent & Barry A. Prigge

Shrub (climbing or not), tree, thorny or not, generally glabrous. Leaf: simple, opposite or alternate, deciduous to persistent, subsessile or petioled; veins pinnate. Inflorescence: cluster, cyme, raceme, panicle, or 1-flowered, axillary or terminal, bracted. Flower: generally bisexual, radial, small; hypanthium ± cup-shaped; sepals 4–5; petals (0)4–5, free; stamens 4–5, alternate petals, attached below or to rim of disk; ovary superior or ± embedded in disk, 2–5-chambered, placentas axile or basal, style generally 1, short, stigma ± head-like, 2–5-lobed. Fruit: capsule, winged achene, berry, drupe, or nutlet, often 1-chambered. Seed: generally 1 per chamber, arilled.
50 genera, 800 species: worldwide, especially southeastern Asia; some ornamental (Celastrus, Euonymus, Maytenus, Paxistima). [Zhang & Simmons 2006 Syst Bot 31:122–137] —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Brizicky 1964 J Arnold Arbor 45:206–234]

Key to Celastraceae

Shrub, erect, scabrous. Leaf: alternate, persistent, ascending, leathery, entire; margin generally thicker. Inflorescence: panicle, terminal, many-flowered. Flower: parts in 5s; hypanthium obconic; petals white; disk fused to hypanthium except at top, fleshy, ± white, in age red-purple; ovary superior, narrowly ovoid, stigma lobes 5, slender, spreading. Fruit: nutlet 1, oblong-cylindric, light brown. Seed: 1, straw-colored, difficult to separate from fruit; aril 0.
5 species: southwestern United States, Mexico. (S.G. Morton, American botanist, physician, 1799–1851)

M. utahensis (Trel.) A. Nelson UTAH MORTONIA
Plant 3–12 dm, coarsely scabrous. Stem: twigs cream-white, in age gray. Leaf: petiole ± 0–1 mm; blade 6–16 mm, ovate to round, abaxially concave transversely, convex longitudinally, base rounded to tapered, tip rounded to acute, mucronate or not. Inflorescence: 8–65 mm, 6–23 mm wide. Flower: hypanthium 1.5–2 mm; sepals 1–2.3 mm, keeled, tips often acute, keeled; petals 2.2–3 mm, ovate. Fruit: 5–7 mm, glabrous.
Limestone slopes, canyon bottoms; 350–2100 m. n Mojave Desert; to southwestern Utah. Mar–May [Online Interchange] {CNPS list}

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Next taxon: Paxistima


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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Dec 1 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Mortonia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Dec 1 2015

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click for enlargement Mortonia utahensis
See CalPhotos for additional images
2004 James M. Andre

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Mortonia utahensis 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.