Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

CAPPARACEAE

CAPER FAMILY

Staria S. Vanderpool

Annual, shrub, tree, ill-smelling
Leaves generally 1-palmate, generally alternate, generally petioled; stipules generally minute, often bristle-like or hairy; leaflets 3–7
Inflorescence: raceme, head, or flowers solitary, generally longer in fruit; bracts generally 3-parted below, simple above, or 0
Flower generally bisexual, radial to ± bilateral; sepals generally 4, free or fused, generally persistent; petals generally 4, free, ± clawed; stamens generally 6, free, exserted, anthers generally coiling at dehiscence; ovary superior, generally on stalk-like receptacle, chamber generally 1, placentas generally 2, parietal, style 1, persistent, stigma generally minute, ± head-like
Fruit: generally capsule, septicidal; valves generally 2, deciduous, leaving septum (frame-like placentas) behind; pedicel generally ± reflexed to spreading
Genera in family: 45 genera, 800 species: widespread tropical to arid temp; some cultivated (Capparis spinosa , caper bush)
Reference: [Ernst 1963 J Arnold Arbor 44:81–93]
CA members placed in subfamily Cleomoideae. Alternate family name: Capparidaceae.

CLEOMELLA

Annual, generally glabrous
Stem generally ascending to erect, generally branched from base, often red-tinged
Leaves generally many; petiole generally 7–20 mm; leaflets generally 3
Inflorescence: raceme, ± terminal; flowers solitary in leaf axils, or both; pedicel generally 4–25 mm
Flower radial to bilateral; parts generally yellow; sepals fused in basal third, generally entire; petals ± sessile, upper 2 often recurved
Fruit: capsule, often wider than long; septum elliptic to round; receptacle stalk-like
Seeds < 10
Species in genus: ± 10 species: arid w North America
Etymology: (Diminutive of Cleome)
Reference: [Payson 1922 Univ Wyoming Publ Sci Bot 1:29–46]
C. hillmanii Nelson, known from near Reno, NV; may be found in adjacent CA.

Native

C. plocasperma S. Watson

Plant glabrous
Stem branched generally from upper nodes, 10–55(80) cm, smooth
Leaf: leaflets 15–45 mm, linear-elliptic
Inflorescence: raceme, 1–20 cm, terminal
Flower: sepals 0.9–2.2 mm, lanceolate; petals 3.5–7 mm; stamens 8–12 mm, anthers 1.5–1.9 mm; style 0.8–1.2 mm
Fruit 4–5 mm; valves ± hemispheric to horn-shaped; receptacle 6–10 mm, spreading to ascending
Ecology: Wet, alkaline meadows, greasewood flats, around thermal springs
Elevation: 800–1400 m.
Bioregional distribution: Great Basin Floristic Province, Mojave Desert
Distribution outside California: to Oregon, Idaho, Utah
Flowering time: May–Jul
Varieties mojavensis (Payson) Crum, stricta Crum of uncertain taxonomic status.

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