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 tree
Leaves generally compound, alternate, stipuled; leaflets generally entire
Inflorescence: generally raceme, spike, umbel or head; flowers sometime 1–2 in axils
Flowers generally bisexual, generally bilateral; hypanthium generally flat or cup-like; sepals generally 5, fused; petals generally 5, free, or the 2 lower ± fused; stamens 1–many, often 10 with 9 filaments at least partly fused, 1 (uppermost) free; pistil 1, ovary superior, generally 1-chambered, ovules 1–many, style, stigma 1
Fruit: legume, sometimes including a stalk-like base above receptacle, dehiscent, or indehiscent and breaking into 1-seeded segments, or indehiscent, 1-seeded, and achene-like
Seeds 1–several, often ± reniform, generally hard, smooth
Genera in family: ± 650 genera, 18,000 species: worldwide; with grasses, requisite in agriculture and most natural ecosystems. Many cultivated, most importantly Arachis , peanut; Glycine , soybean; Phaseolus , beans; Medicago ; Trifolium ; and many orns
Reference: [Polhill & Raven (eds) 1981 Advances in legume systematics; Allen & Allen 1981 Leguminosae]
Family description and key to genera by Duane Isely.


Elizabeth McClintock

Shrub, small tree, unarmed
Stem often ribbed, persistently green
Leaves 1-compound (generally ternate), generally alternate, petioled; stipules free or 0
Inflorescence: generally racemes, terminal or flowers 1–3 in axillary, peduncled clusters
Flower: calyx bell-shaped, 2-lipped, upper lip barely 2-lobed, lower lip minutely 3-lobed; petals white or generally yellow, banner yellow, generally not hairy, keel oblong-sickle-shaped to ± 1/2 circular, curved on lower surface, claw ± 1/4 keel; stamens 10, filaments fused; style generally abruptly curved at ± middle or gently curved entire length
Fruit dehiscent, generally oblong, papery to ± leathery; pedicel short
Seeds few–many, generally arilled
Species in genus: 33 species: Eur, w Asia, n Africa, Canary Islands; some cultivated
Etymology: (Greek: name for several woody Fabaceae)
Reference: [Viciosa 1955 Inst For de Investi y Exper no. 72]


C. scoparius (L.) Link


Shrub 2–2.5 m
Stem: branches generally 5-angled, green, hairy when young, then generally glabrous
Leaves: leaflets 5–20 mm, obovate to oblong, hairs appressed or 0; leaflets 1, sessile on young branches, 3 on older
Inflorescence: cluster, axillary; flowers 1–2 per cluster; pedicels < 10 mm, glabrous
Flower: calyx glabrous, < 5 mm; corolla golden yellow, banner generally 15–18 mm, reflexed or not
Fruit 25–40 mm, flat, brown or black, glabrous except margins
Seeds 5–12
Ecology: Common. Disturbed places
Elevation: < 1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Cascade Range Foothills, n&c Sierra Nevada Foothills, Great Central Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast
Distribution outside California: native to s Europe, n Africa

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