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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 R. Shevock

Stem generally glabrous; twigs or branchlets generally thorny
Leaves generally deciduous, simple, small, generally alternate, entire; stipules minute or 0
Inflorescence: flowers solitary
Flower generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium short, mostly forming thick nectary-disk; sepals generally 5(3–6), free; petals ephemeral, generally 5(3–6), free, generally white; stamens 4–50, attached to nectary-disk; pistils 1–9, simple, styles short, stigma head-like, ovules generally 2–many
Fruit: follicles 1–9
Seeds brown to black, with an aril
Genera in family: 3 genera, 8 species: w US, Mex (Apacheria of AZ, NM has 1 sp.)
Reference: [Thorne & Scogin 1978 Aliso 9:171–178]


Small shrubs, generally densely branched
Stem greenish, glabrous to sparsely hairy, angled; branchlets thorny
Leaves small, generally deciduous, generally oblanceolate to obovate, ± entire
Flower: petals narrowly oblanceolate, white; stamens 4–10
Fruit: follicles 1–3, ovoid, sessile, generally striate, generally beaked
Seeds generally 1–2 per follicle, generally brown; aril ± inconspicuous, generally whitish
Species in genus: ± 5 species: w US, n Mex, especially limestone in desert mtns
Etymology: (Greek: tongue petal, from petal shape)
Reference: [Holmgren 1988 Brittonia 40:269–274]
Formerly called Forsellesia and assigned to Celastraceae.


G. spinescens A. Gray


Shrub < 2 m, ± erect
Stem: tips ± thorny
Leaf 5–17 mm, oblong to obovate; veins ± inconspicuous below; stipules appearing as 2 minute bristles near petiole base
Inflorescence: flowers axillary
Flower: sepals rounded, none spine-tipped; petals 3–7 mm; stamens 6–10
Fruit: follicles 1–2, 3–5.5 mm
Seeds 1–2 per follicle, 2–3 mm, generally shiny brown
Ecology: Limestone
Elevation: 850–2200 m.
Bioregional distribution: s Klamath Ranges, s High Sierra Nevada (Piute Mtns, Kern Co.), San Bernardino Mountains (n base), White and Inyo Mountains, Desert Mountains
Distribution outside California: to Washington, Wyoming, Texas, n Mexico
Flowering time: Apr–May
Highly variable; if the 4 weak vars. are recognized, CA plants are var. aridum M.E. Jones
Synonyms: Forsellesia arida (M.E. Jones) A. Heller; F. nevadensis (A. Gray) Greene; F. stipulifera (H. St. John) Ensign, stipule-bearing forsellesia
Horticultural information: TRY.

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