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.



Duane Isely

Annual or perennial herb, unarmed
Stem generally sprawling or climbing, ridged or angled
Leaves even-1-pinnate; stipules with an upper (often toothed or lobed) and smaller lower segment; leaflets 4–many, alternate to opposite (often on 1 plant), linear to ovate; main leaf axis generally ending as a tendril
Inflorescence: raceme or cluster, axillary; peduncle or pedicels present; bracts small or 0
Flower: corolla generally lavender to purple, sometimes white or yellow; 9 filaments fused, 1 free; style generally round in X -section, hairs tufted at tip
Fruit dehiscent, generally ± oblong, generally flat; base stalk-like or not
Seeds 2 or more
Species in genus: ± 130 species: North America, Eurasia
Etymology: (Latin: vetch)
Reference: [Herman 1960 USDA Handb 168]
Best separated from Lathyrus by style characters.


V. hassei S. Watson

Annual, ± glabrous
Leaf: leaflets 4–10, 1–2.5 cm, narrowly oblong to elliptic, tip generally truncate, notched, or 1–5-toothed
Inflorescence < subtending leaf; flowers at or near tip, 1 (or if 2, generally 4–8 mm apart)
Flower: corolla 7–8 mm, lavender to white; style hairs in a clump at tip, generally on lower, convex side (opposite banner)
Fruit 2–3 cm, 5–6 mm wide, oblong to saber-shaped, initially with a few hairs; stalk-like base 1–2 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=14
Ecology: Grassy or shrubby slopes, canyons
Elevation: 100–600 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, North Coast Ranges, Great Central Valley, Central Western California, Southwestern California, Peninsular Ranges
Distribution outside California: to Baja California, also (alien?) in s Oregon
Synonyms: V. exigua Nutt. var. h (S. Watson) Jeps
Reference: [Lassetter 1975 Madroño 23:73–78]
In CA, easily confused with V. ludoviciana.

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