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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, generally 0.5–2 m, dioecious; sap clear
Stem: axis erect; branches generally many, spreading to erect; twigs generally reddish, becoming gray, generally hairy, becoming glabrous; young lateral twigs short, sometimes becoming spine-like
Leaves simple, cauline, alternate, opposite, or whorled in 3's, generally clustered at short, lateral branch tips; stipules 0; petiole < 2 mm; blade leathery, entire or toothed, base obtuse to acute
Staminate inflorescence: cyme, raceme, or panicle, axillary, sometimes clustered on short, lateral twigs, minutely bracted
Pistillate inflorescence axillary; flower 1
Staminate flower: sepals 4–10, 0.5–2 mm; petals 0; stamens 5–10, filaments glabrous or hairy; nectary disk ± minutely lobed
Pistillate flower: sepals 4–13, 2–5 mm; petals 0; nectary disk minutely lobed; ovary (2)3–5-chambered, styles = chambers, free, ± flattened, generally spreading
Fruit ± spheric, generally lobed, glabrous or short hairy, generally brown
Seeds 1–2 per chamber, smooth, shiny; scar generally appendaged
Species in genus: 5 species: CA, AZ, Mex
Etymology: (Latin: 4 seeds, from 4-lobed ovary in T. dioicus )
Reference: [Dressler 1954 Rhodora 56:45–61]


T. hallii Brandegee

Stem: twigs sparsely short-strigose, becoming glabrous
Leaves generally alternate, generally clustered on short, lateral twigs; blade 2–12 mm, oblanceolate to obovate, tip obtuse to rounded, margin entire
Staminate inflorescence: cyme; flowers generally 1–5, generally clustered on short, lateral twigs; pedicel 3–5.5 mm
Staminate flower: sepals 4–6, ± round; stamens 4–8, filaments 1.5–2.5 mm, glabrous
Pistillate flower: pedicel 0.5–1(3) mm; sepals generally 5, 2–5 mm, ovate to deltate; ovary densely and finely gray-tomentose, chambers generally 3, sometimes 2 or 4, style 1.5–2 mm
Fruit 8–12 mm, 6–10 mm wide, finely tomentose
Ecology: Rocky slopes, washes
Elevation: < 1200 m.
Bioregional distribution: se Mojave Desert, Sonoran Desert
Distribution outside California: w Arizona
Horticultural information: TRY.
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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