Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
For up-to-date information about California vascular plants, visit the Jepson eFlora.



Annual, perennial herb, shrubs, generally bristly or sharply hairy
Stem prostrate to erect
Leaves cauline, often with basal rosette, generally simple, alternate; lower sometimes opposite, entire
Inflorescence: cyme, generally elongate, panicle-, raceme- or spike-like, coiled in flower, generally uncoiled in fruit or flowers 1–2 per axil
Flowers generally bisexual, generally radial; sepals 5, free or fused in lower half; corolla 5-lobed, generally salverform, top of tube generally appendaged, appendages 5, alternating with stamens, sometimes arching over tube; stamens 5, epipetalous; ovary superior, generally 4-lobed, style generally entire
Fruit: nutlets 1–4, smooth to variously roughened, sometimes prickly or bristled
Genera in family: ± 100 genera, ± 2000 species: tropical, temp, especially w North America, Medit; some cultivated (Borago, Echium, Myosotis, Symphytum ). Almost all genera may be TOXIC from alkaloids or accumulated nitrates
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated to include Hydrophyllaceae [Olmsted et al. 2000 Mol Phylog Evol 16:96–112]
Family description, key to genera by Timothy C. Messick.



Dieter H. Wilken

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, glabrous to bristly or strigose
Stems prostrate to erect, branched
Leaves generally cauline, petioled to sessile, generally entire
Inflorescence: flower 1 and axillary or terminal spikes with many flowers, coiled in flower
Flower: corolla rotate to bell-shaped, white to purple; stamens inserted on upper tube, included, anthers ± sessile; style attached atop ovary, stigma linear to disk-like
Fruit: nutlets 2 or 4, erect, generally ovoid to spheric, smooth, roughened or hairy, scar generally lateral
Species in genus: ± 250 species: temp, tropical. Orn, cultivated for medicinal drugs
Etymology: (Greek: sun turning, because some species flowering at summer solstice)


H. convolvulaceum (Nutt.) A. Gray var. californicum (Greene) I.M. Johnst.

Annual, taprooted
Stem ascending to erect, 7–18 cm, canescent
Leaf 1–4 cm, elliptic to ovate, generally petioled, acute, densely strigose
Inflorescence: flowers 1, axillary
Flower: calyx lobes lanceolate, long-tapered, densely bristly; corolla 7–10 mm, ± rotate, limb 8–12 mm wide, papery, white
Fruit: nutlets 4, long-soft-hairy
Chromosomes: 2n=42
Ecology: Sandy soils
Elevation: < 700 m.
Bioregional distribution: Desert
Distribution outside California: to Great Plains, n Mexico
Flowering time: Apr–May
Horticultural information: TRY.

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bioregional map for HELIOTROPIUM%20convolvulaceum%20var.%20californicum being generated
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Heliotropium convolvulaceum var. californicum
Retrieve dichotomous key for Heliotropium
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions | Get lists of plants in a bioregion
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