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Shrub, evergreen, much-branched; dioecious. Stem: bark smooth. Leaf: opposite, simple, leathery; base jointed; stipules 0. Inflorescence: staminate flowers in axillary clusters, pistillate generally 1. Flower: small, radial; sepals generally 5, overlapped, becoming larger in pistillate, disk 0; corolla 0; stamens 8–12, free, anthers elongate with longitudinal slits; ovary superior, chambers 3, styles 3, stigmas long, ± not persistent in fruit. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal. Seed: 1.
1 genus, 1 sp.: southwestern United States, Mexico. [Carlquist 2002 Madroño 49:158–164] Recently shown (e.g., Carlquist 2002) to be not closely related to Buxaceae, in which it was sometimes placed; 2° growth unusual, produced by successive cambia. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
(T.W. Simmonds, English botanist, died exploring Trinidad, 1767–1804)
Hairs short, dense, appressed, less dense in age. Stem: 1–2 m; new growth ± hairy; branches stiff. Leaf: 2–4 cm, oblong-ovate, dull green, subsessile. Inflorescence: peduncle 3–10 mm. Flower: staminate sepals 3–4 mm, ± green, pistillate 10–20 mm in age; anthers yellow. Fruit: ± 1–2.5 cm, nut-like, ovoid, tough, leathery, obtusely 3-angled. Seed: large, including liquid wax.
2n=26. Creosote-bush scrub, desert wash scrub, chaparral, coastal scrub; < 1350 m. s South Coast, Peninsular Ranges, s Mojave Desert, Sonoran Desert; northern Mexico. Important as forage plant; seed wax a substitute for sperm whale oil; fruit edible. Generally Mar–May [Online Interchange]
Previous taxon: Simmondsia
Next taxon: Solanaceae
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Jul 31 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Simmondsia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=44601, accessed on Jul 31 2014
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