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.



James W. Grimes

Perennial, unarmed, gland-dotted; hairs, stalked glands, or both; roots deep, woody, enlarged near ground surface
Stem: main axis erect, nearly 0 to short; branches short, decumbent to ascending, sometimes underground
Leaves ± palmately compound, ± basal (or cauline at branch tips); stipules at base of plant fused, those above free; leaflets 5–7
Inflorescence: basal, axillary, or terminal on branches, raceme with 1 sometimes tardily deciduous bract and 2–3 flowers per node; pedicel sometimes very short
Flower: calyx base swollen on top, tube enlarging in fruit; corolla at least partly blue to purple; 9 filaments fused, 1 less so or free; ovary ± hairy, ovule 1, style tip curved to bent, stigma head-like
Fruit transversely dehiscent, beaked, hairy, rarely glandular
Seed elliptic, smooth or ridged
Species in genus: 22 species: North America
Etymology: (Greek: plain apple)
Reference: [Grimes 1990 Mem New York Bot Gard 61:1–114]
Bituminaria bituminosa (L.) Stirton (Psoralea b. L.) possibly naturalized in SnBr; Pediomelum mephiticum (S. Watson) Rydb. incorrectly reported for s CA.


P. californicum (S. Watson) Rydb.

Leaf: stipule 7–10 mm; petiole 8–11 cm; leaflets 5–7, 15–28 mm, obovate or widest in middle
Inflorescence: bract 6.5–8 mm
Flower 8–12 mm; calyx 9–10.5 mm; banner 10–11 mm
Fruit ovate to round in outline; body 4–9 mm; beak 1–4 mm, straight, linear
Seed 5–5.5 mm, reniform, smooth, red-brown
Chromosomes: 2n=22
Ecology: Open chaparral, woodlands
Elevation: 1000–2500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Inner North Coast Ranges, Central Western California, Transverse Ranges, San Jacinto Mountains
Distribution outside California: Baja California
Synonyms: Psoralea c. S. Watson
Horticultural information: TRY.

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