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Key to families | Table of families and genera

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Nancy J. Vivrette, John Bleck & Wayne R. Ferren, Jr., family description, key to genera

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, generally fleshy. Stem: underground to erect; root fibrous or tuberous. Leaf: generally simple, entire, flat, cylindric, 3-angled, or scale-like, generally cauline, generally opposite; stipules generally 0; blade papillate, pubescent, or generally glabrous, often glaucous. Inflorescence: cyme or 1-flowered, generally terminal. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium present; sepals (3)5(8), often unequal; petals 0 or many in several whorls, free or fused at base, linear; stamens 1–many, free or fused in groups, outer often petal-like; nectary a ring or separate glands; pistil 1, ovary superior to inferior, chambers 1–20, placentas generally parietal, styles 0–20. Fruit: berry, nut, or generally capsule, opening by flaps or circumscissile. Seed: 1–many per chamber, generally ovoid, arilled or not.
130 genera, 2500 species: generally subtropics, especially southern Africa; many cultivated. [Hartmann 2002 Illus Handbook Succulent Plants Aizoaceae A-E (Vol 1) and F-Z (Vol 2). Springer; Vivrette et al. 2003 FNANM 4:75–91] Galenia pubescens (Eckl. & Zeyh.) Druce, a waif, may be naturalizing in southern California. —Scientific Editors: Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Ferren et al. 1981 Madroño 28:80–85; Smith 1998 Mesembs of the World. Briza.]
Unabridged note: Disphyma crassifolium (L.) L. Bolus (ovary glands convex, minute-crenate; stigmas dense-plumose; fruit chambers 5; seeds ovate, ± smooth), of tribe Ruschieae, an historical waif in California; Lampranthus coccineus (Haw.) N.E. Br.: (ovary glands fused; fruit chambers 5; seeds pear-shaped, ± black, rough), of Ruschieae, an historical waif or urban weed in California.

Key to Aizoaceae


Wayne R. Ferren, Jr.

[Annual] perennial herb [shrub], glabrous, generally papillate. Stem: prostrate to erect, forming mats < 2 m diam; nodes rooting or not. Leaf: opposite, generally < 6 cm; stipule 0; petiole base generally wide with scarious margins; blade linear to ovate, entire. Inflorescence: 1-flowered [cyme]; bracts 0 or 2. Flower: hypanthium obconic; sepals generally hooded near tip, ± red adaxially; petals 0; stamens [1]30, often fused at base; ovary 1/2-inferior, chambers 2–5, placentas axile, styles (2)3–5, papillate. Fruit: capsule, circumscissile, ovoid to conic, thin-walled. Seed: many, ± reniform, generally smooth, shiny, black or brown, arilled.
8 species: generally tropics, subtropical coasts, deserts.

Branched from base, minute-papillate. Stem: many, < 9 dm; nodes not rooting. Leaf: 0.5–4 cm, linear to widely spoon-shaped; base clasping stem. Inflorescence: axillary; pedicel 0 or short. Flower: sepals 4–10 mm, hooded, beaked, or both near or at tip, abaxially papillate, margins scarious; filaments fused to midlength, ± red. Fruit: 4–5 mm. Seed: 0.8–1 mm, smooth.
Uncommon. Moist or seasonally dry flats, margins of generally saline wetlands; < 1400 m. North Coast, Great Central Valley, Outer South Coast Ranges, South Coast, Western Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, Great Basin Floristic Province, Desert; to Oregon, Kansas, South America. Apr–Nov [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 26 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Sesuvium, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 26 2015

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click for enlargement Sesuvium verrucosum
See CalPhotos for additional images
© 2006 Erin McDermott

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Sesuvium verrucosum 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.