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Margriet Wetherwax, except as noted

Annual, perennial herb, shrub; often glandular; root-parasites, roots modified into absorptive structures. Stem: generally round in ×-section. Leaf: generally simple, generally alternate, reduced to ± fleshy scales in non-green plants lacking chlorophyll; stipules generally 0. Inflorescence: spike to panicle, generally bracted, or flowers 1–2 in axils. Flower: bisexual; calyx lobes 0–5; corolla generally strongly bilateral, generally 2-lipped (upper lip generally 2-lobed, lower lip generally 3-lobed), abaxial lobes outside other lobes in bud; stamens epipetalous, 4 in 2 pairs (sometimes 1 pair sterile), additional staminode 0(1), anther sacs unequal; ovary superior, chambers 1–2, placentas 2–4, parietal, style 1, stigma lobes 0 or 2. Fruit: capsule, generally ± ovoid, loculicidal, valves 2–4. Seed: many, small, angled; surface smooth or netted.
99 genera, 2060 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate and Africa. [Bennett & Matthews 2006 Amer J Bot 93:1039–1051] High yield losses in many crops caused by Orobanche species in Africa, Mediterranean, Middle East, and eastern Europe. —Scientific Editors: Robert Patterson, Bruce G. Baldwin.

Key to Orobanchaceae


Margriet Wetherwax, T I. Chuang & Lawrence R. Heckard

Annual, green to yellow-brown or ± purple; generally ascending-branched. Leaf: alternate or ± basal, sessile, ± linear, distal finely divided. Inflorescence: spike and/or flowers solitary in axils; bracts generally leaf-like. Flower: calyx ± equally 4-lobed; corolla tube generally slender, upper lip folded lengthwise, tip of upper 2 corolla lobes open, opening directed forward, forming a beak, lower lip deeply 3-pouched, 3-toothed, throat abruptly generally indented forming a fold proximal to lower lip; stamens 4, anther sac 1 per stamen, generally included; stigma generally slightly enlarged, entire to slightly 2-lobed. Seed: 20–80, 0.8–1.2 mm, ovoid, attached at base, dark brown; coat netted, generally tight-fitting.
6 species: western North America, China. (Greek: 3 bladders, from lower lip pouches) [Chuang & Heckard 1991 Syst Bot 16:644–666] Hybrids common. Related to Castilleja, Orthocarpus; isolated reproductively.
Unabridged references: [Hong 1996 Novon 6:372–374]

Key to Triphysaria

T. pusilla (Benth.) T.I. Chuang & Heckard
Plant 5–20 cm, yellow-brown or ± purple, finely spreading-hairy. Stem: decumbent-branched from base; main axis obscure. Leaf: 5–30 mm, 3–9-lobed. Inflorescence: 4–15 cm, ± from stem base; bracts 5–12 mm, 3–11-lobed. Flower: calyx 5–7 mm, divided 1/3–2/3, hairy; corolla 4–7 mm, ± purple (yellow), beak hooked, 1 mm > lower lip, pouches ± 1 mm deep. Fruit: 4–6 mm, round, compressed. Seed: 20–30, dark brown.
Grassland; < 1200 m. Northwestern California, Great Central Valley, Sierra Nevada Foothills, Central Western California; to British Columbia. [Orthocarpus pusillus Benth.] Self-pollinating. Apr–Jun [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. Triphysaria, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 26 2015

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click for enlargement Triphysaria pusilla
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2007 Aaron Schusteff

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Triphysaria pusilla 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.