Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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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.


Species in genus: 1 sp
Etymology: (A. Wislizenus, plant collector in sw US, born 1810)


W. refracta Engelm.


Annual or perennial herb, glabrous to puberulent
Stem profusely branched from base, 0.5–24 dm
Leaf: petiole 3–25 mm; leaflets generally 3
Inflorescence: raceme, 1–3 cm, dense, terminal, in fruit 4–20 cm; pedicels 5–10 mm
Flower radial; sepals free, ± 2 mm, ± entire, green; petals 2.5–6.3 mm, elliptic, yellow, ± sessile but tapered to base; stamens 8–14 mm, yellow; ovary 0.3–0.6 mm, generally exserted, lobes 2, nearly separate, each generally 1-ovuled, style 2–5.5 mm
Fruit: nutlets 2; valves deciduous; receptacle stalk-like, reflexed; style elongate but not spine-like
Seeds generally 1 per nutlet
Chromosomes: 2n=40
Ecology: Desert washes and flats, fields, roadsides, especially alkaline soils
Elevation: 0–800 m.
Bioregional distribution: c&s Sierra Nevada Foothills, San Joaquin Valley, Desert
Distribution outside California: to Texas, nw Mexico
Reference: [Keller 1979 Brittonia 31:333–351]
Valuable honey plant. TOXIC but seldom eaten.

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bioregional map for WISLIZENIA%20refracta 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 Wislizenia refracta
Retrieve dichotomous key for Wislizenia
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
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