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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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Family description, key to genera by Thomas J. Rosatti; treatment of genera by James Henrickson, except as noted

Perennial herb to tree [vine], hairs 0 or peltate or not; rarely dioecious. Leaf: simple to odd-pinnately compound, alternate or generally opposite, deciduous or evergreen; stipules 0. Inflorescence: various; flowers >= 1. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial; calyx generally minute (0), tube cup-shaped, lobes 4–15; petals (0)4–6(8), generally fused; nectar disk often present; stamens (0)2(4–5), epipetalous; pistil 1, ovary superior, chambers 2, each 2–4 ovuled, placenta axile, style 1, stigma generally 2-lobed. Fruit: drupe, capsule, or winged achene. Seed: 1 per chamber.
± 25 genera, 900 species: ± worldwide; some cultivated for ornamental (Forsythia; Jasminum, jasmine; Ligustrum, privet; Syringa, lilac) or food (Olea, olive). [Lee et al. 2007 Molec Biol Evol 24:1161–1180] —Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin.
Unabridged references: [Jensen et al. 2002 Phytochemisty 60:213–231; Kim & Jansen 1998 Amer J Bot 85(6): Suppl. 139; Wallander & Albert 2000 Amer J Bot 87(12):1827–1841]

Key to Oleaceae


Timothy Chumley

Perennial herb to shrub. Leaf: simple, opposite or alternate, sessile or short-petioled, entire to lobed, prominently 1-veined below. Inflorescence: axillary cluster or terminal compound cyme. Flower: bisexual; calyx persistent, lobes (4)5–10(12), ± linear; corolla ± rotate or funnel-shaped, lobes (4)5(8); style slender, stigma head-like, ± 2-lobed. Fruit: papery capsule, deeply 2-lobed to near base. Seed: 2–4[8].
± 23 species: America, southern Africa. (Greek: gift of force, for sustenance provided to horses of Humboldt and Bonpland in Mexico) [Chumley 2007 Ph.D. Dissertation, Univ Texas, Austin]
Unabridged references: [Turner 1991 Phytologia 712:340–356; Steyermark 1932 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 19:87–176]

Key to Menodora

M. spinescens A. Gray
Shrub, dense, mounded, 2–5(6) dm. Stem: many from generally short, stout trunk, spreading to ascending, round in ×-section, densely puberulent, terminating in thorns, these often appearing forked at ends of major branches. Leaf: alternate (leaf-like bracts appearing clustered on short flower shoots), sessile, (2)4–10(16) mm, linear-oblanceolate to oblanceolate, 3-cleft to middle, densely puberulent, generally only present at flower. Inflorescence: axillary, compact cluster. Flower: calyx puberulent, lobes (4)5–6(8), (1.8)2–4(5) mm, linear; corolla white tinged red or purple, red in bud, lobes 4–5(6), obovate. Fruit: each lobe ± indehiscent, opening irregularly, (5)6.3–7.9(9) mm, ± glabrous to slightly scabrous. Seed: generally 2; (5)5.7–7.2(8) mm, elliptic to obovate in outline, planoconvex to lenticular in ×-section, seed coat appearing smooth, shiny. [Online Interchange]

M. spinescens var. spinescens
Flower: unisexual or bisexual, calyx tube in flower generally < 1.4 mm; filaments < 1 mm, anthers generally appearing sessile; bisexual flowers in showier, denser inflorescence, flowers larger. Bisexual flower: corolla tube (4)4.3–5.1(5.2) mm, lobes (1.9)2–2.9(3) mm; filaments 0.5–2 mm, anthers 2 mm, yellow, 1/2-exserted; stigma exserted, exceeding anthers, 2-forked. Pistillate flower: corolla tube (2.5)2.6–3.7(3.8) mm, lobes (1)1.2–2.2; anthers green, < 1 mm, included, separate; stigma well exserted, head-like or 2-lobed.
Rocky desert hillsides, canyons; 690–2000(2300) m. San Bernardino Mountains (n slope), s East of Sierra Nevada, n&e Mojave Desert except Desert Mountains; southern Nevada, southwestern Utah, northwestern Arizona. Apr–May [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Menodora, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015

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Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Menodora spinescens var. spinescens 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.