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Robert E. Preston & William J. Stone

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)

S. chinensis (Link) C.K. Schneid.
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. [Buxus chinensis Link; Simmondsia californica Nutt.] Important as forage plant; seed wax a substitute for sperm whale oil; fruit edible. Generally Mar–May [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Simmondsia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Simmondsia chinensis 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.