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.



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.


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.


C. tillaea Lest.-Garl.

Stems generally erect, 1–6 cm, branched or not, in age red
Leaf 1–3 mm, oblong; tip ± acute
Inflorescence: flowers (1)2 per leaf pair, crowded; pedicel generally < 0.5 mm
Flower ± 1–1.5 mm; sepals generally 3, ± 1–1.5 mm, lanceolate, tip acuminate; petals 0.5–1 mm, narrowly lanceolate
Fruit: follicles ascending, ovoid, tapered to styles
Seeds (1)2, elliptic
Ecology: Open, gravelly sites
Elevation: < 500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Inner North Coast Ranges, n&c Sierra Nevada Foothills, Great Central Valley, Central Coast, South Coast Ranges, Southwestern California
Distribution outside California: native to Mediterranean
Synonyms: Tillaea muscosa L

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