|Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange|
|TREATMENT FROM THE JEPSON MANUAL (1993)||
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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
AND IS MAINTAINED FOR ARCHIVAL PURPOSES ONLY
Annual to tree
Leaves generally compound, alternate, stipuled; leaflets generally entire
Inflorescence: generally raceme, spike, umbel or head; flowers sometime 12 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 1many, often 10 with 9 filaments at least partly fused, 1 (uppermost) free; pistil 1, ovary superior, generally 1-chambered, ovules 1many, 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 1several, 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.
Annual or perennial herb, unarmed
Leaves generally palmately compound; stipules conspicuous, partly fused to petiole; leaflets generally 3, sometimes 59, ± serrate or dentate
Inflorescence: raceme (often umbel-like), head, or spike, axillary or terminal, generally many-flowered, often involucred, generally peduncled; flowers bracted or not
Flower generally spreading to erect, often becoming reflexed; corolla generally purple to pale lavender, sometimes yellow, persistent after flower; 9 filaments fused, 1 free
Fruit generally indehiscent, but often breaking, short, plump, generally included in corolla; base often stalk-like
Etymology: (Latin: 3 leaves)
Reference: [Gillett 1980 Can J Bot 58:14251558; Zohary & Heller 1984 Genus Trifolium]
Stem prostrate, creeping, rooting
Leaves cauline from ground level, clearly alternate or clustered (from lack of stem elongation); stipules wide, tapered; petioles > blades; leaflets 1015 mm, obovate or obcordate
Inflorescence head-like, ± 1 cm wide, bur-like in fruit; peduncle in fruit curving, growing into ground
Flowers: outer 28, fertile, corolla 814 mm, yellow and purple; inner many, sterile, calyx stalk-like, with 45 bristles at tip, elongating, recurving to surround fruits and form bur, corolla 0
Ecology: Meadows, roadsides, urban waste areas
Elevation: < 1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast Ranges, n Sierra Nevada, Great Central Valley, South Coast Ranges, probably elsewhere
Distribution outside California: sporadic US; native to s Europe, n Africa
Fr of this and related species unique in family in US.
TOXIC in excess: estrogen-like compounds may sterilize livestock.