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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.



Grady L. Webster, except as specified

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, tree, vine, monoecious or dioecious
Stem generally branched, sometimes fleshy or spiny
Leaves generally simple, alternate or opposite, generally stipuled, petioled; blade entire, toothed, or palmately lobed
Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, raceme, spike; flowers sometimes in clusters (dense, enclosed by involucre, flower-like in Chamaesyce, Euphorbia ), terminal or axillary
Flower unisexual, ± radial; sepals generally 3–5, free or fused; petals generally 0; stamens 1–many, free or filaments fused; ovary superior, chambers 1–4, styles free or fused, simple or lobed
Fruit: generally capsule
Seeds 1–2 per chamber; seed scar appendage sometimes present, pad- to dome-like
Genera in family: 300 genera, 7500 species: ± worldwide especially tropical; some cultivated (Aleurites , tung oil; Euphorbia subsp.; Hevea , rubber; Ricinus )
Reference: [Webster 1967 J Arnold Arbor 48:303–430]
Many species ± highly TOXIC.


Shrub, monoecious or dioecious; sap clear
Stems erect, generally much-branched
Leaves simple, cauline, alternate, stipuled; hairs simple or stellate
Staminate inflorescence: spike or raceme, axillary
Pistillate inflorescence terminal; flower sometimes solitary
Staminate flower sessile or short-pedicelled; calyx splitting into 3–4 segments; petals 0; stamens 3–25, filaments free; nectar disk minute or 0
Pistillate flower sessile; sepals 4–6; petals 0; nectar disk 0; ovary 3-chambered, styles 3, free, 2-lobed or -toothed
Fruit 3-lobed
Seed 1 per chamber; scar appendaged
Species in genus: 30–40 species: tropical, subtropical Am
Etymology: (Latin: Bernard de Jussieu, French taxonomist, 1699–1776)


B. myricifolia (Scheele) S. Watson

Shrub < 2.5 m, dioecious, hairy
Leaf: stipules ± 1 mm, deciduous; petiole 1–5 mm; blade 0.5–3 cm, elliptic, tip obtuse or rounded, margin crenate
Staminate inflorescence: raceme; pedicel 3–4 mm
Pistillate inflorescence: flower 1, sessile
Staminate flower: stamens 12–15; nectar disk of small glands
Pistillate flower: sepals 5, ± 2 mm, unequal; ovary tomentose, styles jagged
Fruit 8–10 mm diam, tomentose
Seeds 5 mm, smooth; back ribbed
Ecology: Washes, rocky canyons
Elevation: < 1200 m.
Bioregional distribution: s Mojave Desert, Sonoran Desert
Distribution outside California: to Texas, Mexico
Synonyms: B. incana C.V. Morton
Horticultural information: TRY.

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