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Perennial herb to small tree or vine. Stem: < 3 m, generally erect; bark generally peeling as thin sheets or narrow strips. Leaf: generally simple, opposite, deciduous or not, ± hairy; stipules 0; blade ± round to narrowly elliptic, entire or toothed. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flower 1, terminal or axillary, generally bracted. Flower: bisexual, radial, flowers on inflorescence margins occasionally sterile and enlarged; sepals 4–10, free or fused at base, spreading or erect; petals 4–7, free, ± round to narrowly elliptic; stamens 8–12 in 2 whorls or many and clustered, filament base linear or wide and flat; pistil 1, ovary superior to inferior, chambers 2–8, ovules 1–2 or many per chamber, placentas axile or parietal, styles 1–8, free or fused at base. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal or septicidal; styles persistent or not. Seed: generally many, small to minute, oblong to fusiform, winged or not.
18 genera, ± 250 species: generally temperate, subtropical northern hemisphere; some cultivated for ornamental (Carpenteria, Hydrangea, Philadelphus). [Hufford et al. 2001 Int J Plant Sci 162:835–846] Philadelphaceae in TJM (1993). —Scientific Editors: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Unabridged references: [Hufford 1997 Int J Plant Sci 158:652–672; Soltis et al. 1995 Amer J Bot 82:504–514]
Key to Hydrangeaceae
1 sp. (Lieutenant A.W. Whipple, 1818–1863, Commander, Pacific Railroad Expedition of 1853–1854)
Perennial herb, subshrub, decumbent. Stem: bark gray-brown, peeling as narrow strips. Leaf: persistent, ± sessile; blade 1.5–4 cm, 1–3 cm wide, ovate to elliptic, coarsely strigose, upper surface hairs ascending, bulbous-based. Inflorescence: cyme or raceme, dense; flowers 4–12. Flower: 4–6 mm wide, odorless; sepals 4–6, 1.5–2 mm, narrowly oblong, ± glabrous; petals 4–6, 3–6 mm, obovate, white; stamens 8–12, ± equal, filament base wide, flat; ovary 1/2-inferior, chambers 4–5, placentas ± axile, ovule 1 per chamber, styles 4–5, stigma terminal. Fruit: spheric, segmented in age. Seed: 1 per chamber, plump, honeycomb-pitted.
Coastal scrub, chaparral, forest, open areas or on streambanks; 45–1525 m. Northwestern California, San Francisco Bay Area, Outer South Coast Ranges (Santa Lucia Range); to Washington. Mar–Jul [Online Interchange]
Previous taxon: Whipplea
Next taxon: Hypericaceae
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Mar 9 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2012. Whipplea, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=48534, accessed on Mar 9 2014
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© 2009 Terry Dye
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