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CRASSULACEAE

STONECROP FAMILY

Annual to subshrubs, fleshy
Leaves generally simple, generally basal and cauline, alternate or opposite, generally reduced upward
Inflorescence: generally cyme, generally bracted
Flower: sepals generally 3–5, generally ± free; petals generally 3–5, ± free or fused; stamens = to >> sepals, free or epipetalous; pistils generally 3–5, simple (sometimes fused at base), ovary 1-chambered, placenta 1, parietal, ovules 1–many, style 1
Fruit: follicles generally 3–5
Seeds 1–many, small
Genera in family: ± 30 genera, ± 1500 species: ± worldwide, especially dry temp; many cultivated for ornamental. Family description and generic key by Melinda F. Denton and Reid Moran.

CRASSULA

Reid Moran

Annual in CA, terrestrial, sometimes submersed and later stranded in dry ponds, glabrous in CA
Stem decumbent to erect, branched or not
Leaves basal and cauline, opposite; leaf bases fused, ± sheathing
Inflorescence: flowers solitary in leaf axils
Flower: sepals 3–5, ± fused at base; petals free or ± fused at base; stamen number = sepal number; pistils 3–5
Fruit: follicles 3–5, generally erect
Seeds 1–many, in CA generally < 0.5 mm, elliptic to elliptic-oblong, red-brown
Species in genus: ± 300 species: especially Africa (annual species ± worldwide)
Etymology: (Latin: diminutive of thick)
Some subshrubs (e.g. C. tetragona L.) cultivated, sometimes persisting.

Native

C. connata (Ruiz & Pav.) A. Berger

PYGMY-WEED


Stems erect, 2–6(10) cm, branched or not, in age red
Leaf 1–3(6) mm, ovate to oblong; tip obtuse, acute, or abruptly fine-pointed
Inflorescence: flowers (1)2 per leaf pair, generally crowded; pedicel < 6 mm
Flower 0.5–2 mm; sepals (3)4, 0.5–2 mm, lanceolate, tip acute to acuminate; petals generally < sepals, narrow-triangular
Fruit: follicles ascending, ovoid, tapered to styles
Seeds 1–2, elliptic
Chromosomes: 2n=16
Ecology: Open areas
Elevation: < 1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Sierra Nevada Foothills, Great Central Valley, Central Western California, Southwestern California, Sonoran Desert
Distribution outside California: to Oregon, Texas, n C.America; also in w S.America
Flowering time: Feb–May
Synonyms: Tillaea erecta Hook. & Arn
Locally abundant.

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