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Key to families | Table of families and genera

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Allan J. Bornstein

Shrub, small tree, generally aromatic, evergreen or deciduous; generally monoecious or dioecious; roots generally with nitrogen-fixing bacteria; hairs generally both nonglandular, thread-like and glandular, peltate. Leaf: simple, alternate, entire to pinnately lobed, resin-dotted; stipules generally 0. Inflorescence: spike, catkin-like, axillary; staminate, pistillate separate. Flower: generally unisexual, small; perianth generally 0. Staminate flower: subtended by 1 bract, 0 [1–4] bractlets. Pistillate flower: subtended by 1 bract, 2 or 4–6[3(8)] bractlets; ovary superior [to ± inferior], ovule 1, style 1, stigmas 2, short. Fruit: generally drupe or nut-like, small, rough or smooth, waxy or not, sometimes winged or bur-like from fused bractlets.
4 genera, ± 45 species: generally temperate, subtropics fruit of some Morella boiled to make fragrant wax. [Carlquist 2002 Aliso 21:7–29] Myrica as treated in TJM (1993) split into 2 genera based on Wilbur 1994 Sida 16:93–107. —Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Unabridged references: [Bornstein 1997 FNANM 3:429–434]
Unabridged note: Comptonia of eastern North America, Canacomyrica of New Caledonia each have 1 sp.; Myrica has 2 species

Key to Myricaceae

Shrub, small tree. Leaf: ± spicy-scented; blade unlobed, ± serrate, especially in upper 1/2. Staminate flower: stamens generally 6–12(22).
± 40 species: Africa, eastern Asia, Philippines, Malaysia, North America, South America, temperate, subtropics.

M. californica (Cham. & Schltdl.) Wilbur WAX MYRTLE
Plant 2–10 m. Leaf: generally ± narrowly lance-elliptic; tip generally sharply acute. Staminate flower: stamens 7–16. Fruit: few per pistillate inflorescence, 4–6.5(8) mm diam.
Coastal dunes and scrub, closed-cone pine, redwood forest; < 150 m near coast, < 500+ m inland. North Coast, w Klamath Ranges, Outer North Coast Ranges, Central Coast, w San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast; to British Columbia. [Myrica californica Cham. & Schltdl.] Mar–Apr [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. Morella, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015

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click for enlargement Morella californica
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Charles Webber 2000 California Academy of Sciences

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Morella californica 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.