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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Previous taxon Indexes to all accepted names and synonyms:
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Robert E. Preston & Dennis W. Woodland

Annual, perennial herb [to shrub, soft-wooded tree], hairs stinging and not [glabrous]; monoecious or dioecious; wind-pollinated. Leaf: alternate or opposite, generally stipuled, petioled, blade often with translucent, raised dots due to crystals in epidermal cells. Inflorescence: axillary, 1-flowered or head-, raceme-, or panicle-like. Flower: generally unisexual, small, ± green; sepals generally 4–5, free to fused; petals 0. Staminate flower: stamens generally 4–5, opposite sepals, incurved in bud, reflexing suddenly when flower opens. Pistillate flower: ovary 1, superior, chamber 1, style 0–1, stigma 1, generally hair-tufted. Fruit: generally achene.
50 genera, 700 species: worldwide; some cultivated (Boehmeria, ramie; Pilea, clearweed). [Boufford 1997 FNANM 3:400–413] —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Miller 1971 J Arnold Arbor 52:40–68]

Key to Urticaceae

Hairs sparse to dense, stinging 0. Stem: branches from base, decumbent to erect, generally herbaceous. Leaf: alternate, blade 1–9 cm, lanceolate to round, entire; stipules 0; crystals round. Inflorescence: head-, spike-, or panicle-like, generally few-flowered; flowers subtended by involucre of 1–3 lance-linear bracts. Flower: sepals 4, fused below. Staminate flower: stamens 4. Fruit: ovoid, shiny.
20–30 species: worldwide temperate, subtropics. (Latin: wall, from habitat of some)
Unabridged references: [Hinton 1969 Sida 3:293–297]
Unabridged note: Parietaria floridana Nutt. collected as nursery weed in South Coast.

Key to Parietaria

P. hespera Hinton
Annual 2–55 cm, decumbent to erect, matted or not. Leaf: blade 5–20 mm, ± round on young stems, round to ovate or lanceolate on older stems, base truncate to wedge-shaped, lowest veins from midrib at blade base. Flower: calyx lobes generally 2–3 mm, acute to acuminate. Fruit: hidden between calyx lobes, 0.9–1.3 mm, ovate, tan to ± brown, tip obtuse. [Online Interchange]

P. hespera var. hespera
Leaf: blade ovate to lanceolate on older stems, width < length. Flower: calyx green to dark red-brown, lobes erect, acute or abruptly narrowed below mucronate tip.
Rocky slopes, dry washes, in oak woodland, coastal scrub, chaparral, desert scrub; 5–1375 m. s Sierra Nevada Foothills, c&s Central Coast, Outer South Coast Ranges, Southwestern California, s White and Inyo Mountains, Mojave Desert except Desert Mountains, Sonoran Desert; to Utah, New Mexico, northwestern Mexico. Plants with narrowly lanceolate leaves sometimes confused with Parietaria pensylvanica. Mar–Jun [Online Interchange]

Previous taxon: Parietaria hespera var. californica
Next taxon: Parietaria judaica


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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Mar 30 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Parietaria, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Mar 30 2015

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click for enlargement Parietaria hespera var. hespera
See CalPhotos for additional images
© 2005 Trent M. Draper

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Parietaria hespera var. hespera 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.