Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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

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



James Henrickson

Annual to tree
Stem prostrate to erect
Leaves alternate or opposite, simple, generally entire, bract-like upward; stipules 0
Inflorescence: cymes, often arrayed ± in spikes or panicles; bracts 1–3 per flower, generally membranous-scarious, tip often short-pointed or spine-like
Flower generally small, uni- or bisexual, radial; sepals 0–5, fused at base or free, often ± scarious; petals 0; stamens 0–5, opposite sepals (staminodes sometimes alternating), filaments sometimes fused at base; ovary superior, 1-chambered, ovules 1–several, erect or pendent on ± basal stalks, styles 0–3, stigma head-like or 2–3-lobed
Fruit: utricle to circumscissile capsule
Seed lenticular to spheric, hard
Genera in family: ± 65 genera, ± 900 species: tropical, subtropical
Reference: [Robertson 1981 J Arnold Arbor 62:267–313]


Perennial in CA
Leaves opposite
Inflorescence: spike or panicle-like; bracts generally persistent
Flower bisexual; sepals 5, free, inner sometimes < outer, strongly or weakly 3-veined, fleshy to hardened at base, hairs 0 or ± straight; stamens (2–)5, filaments fused at base, generally alternate elongate, entire to branched staminodia; ovule pendent, style 1, short, stigma 0 or 2-lobed
Fruit indehiscent; wall membranous
Seed smooth
Species in genus: ± 170 species: generally tropical Am
Etymology: (Latin: alternate, from staminodia)


A. caracasana Kunth

Stem wavy-hairy, becoming glabrous
Leaves at a node often unequal; petioles 3–13 mm, narrowly winged, clasping; blades 5–18 mm wide, ± diamond-shaped to round, tip obtuse to acute
Inflorescence: spike, 6–7 mm wide, sessile; bracts 3–3.5 mm, entire, whitish, papery, midvein hairy
Flower: sepals unequal, outer 3.5–4.5 mm, ± widely lanceolate, not keeled, strongly 3-veined below, spine-tipped, inner 2.5 mm, ± linear, keeled, generally 1-veined, whitish, stiff, margins scarious; filaments 0.2–0.4 mm, slightly > staminodia
Ecology: Generally waste places
Elevation: < 150 m.
Bioregional distribution: South Coast
Distribution outside California: to se US, c Mexico, also Africa; native to C.America, S.America
Synonyms: A. pungens Kunth; A. repens (L.) Kuntze misapplied

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