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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
Stems generally ribbed or angled, persistently green
Leaves ternately 1-compound, alternate, petioled; stipules fused to leaf bases, rarely 0
Inflorescence: racemes or heads, terminal or axillary, or clusters on axillary short-shoots
Flower bilateral; calyx generally < corolla, 2-lipped, upper lip strongly 2-lobed, lobes ± 1/3 tube, lower lip 3-lobed, lobes < upper lobes; petals 5, yellow, banner generally ovate or rounded, outside generally glabrous or variously hairy, keel narrow-oblong, ± straight on lower surface, often hairy; stamens 10, filaments fused; style ± abruptly bent at tip
Fruit dehiscent, narrow-oblong, slightly inflated or not; pedicel < 7 mm
Seeds several, generally arilled
Species in genus: 87 species: Eur, w Asia, n Africa, Canary Islands
Etymology: (Latin: from planta genista , from which English Plantagenet monarchs took their name)
Reference: [Gibbs & Dingwall 1971 Bol Soc Brot 45:269–316]
Most naturalized CA plants are hybrids involving G. canariensis, G. monspessulana, G. stenopetala.


G. canariensis L.

Shrub < 3 m
Stem: twigs silky-hairy
Leaf: stipules < 2 mm; petiole < 6 mm; leaflets 5–10 mm, obovate or ± round, length 1–2 X width, upper surface sparsely hairy, lower surface densely so
Inflorescence: racemes 10–60 mm, terminal and axillary; flowers 5–20; pedicels very short
Flower: calyx 4–6 mm, densely silky-hairy; banner 10–12 mm, ovate, glabrous except generally for ± V-shaped hairy area from base to tip
Fruit 15–25 mm, short-hairy
Ecology: Uncommon. Disturbed places
Elevation: < 300 m.
Bioregional distribution: Western Transverse Ranges
Distribution outside California: native to Canary Islands
Synonyms: Cytisus c. (L.) Kuntze

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