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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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William J. Stone

Shrub or tree
Leaves opposite, generally 4-ranked, palmately compound
Inflorescence: panicle or raceme, terminal; flowers many
Flowers showy, ± bilateral, some staminate; sepals 5, free or fused into tube, lobes unequal; petals 4–5, clawed, unequal; stamens 5–8, filaments long, slender; ovary chambers 3, ovules generally 2 per chamber
Fruit: capsule, spheric or slightly 3-lobed, leathery, roughly spiny to shiny
Seeds large, shiny
Genera in family: 3 genera, 18 species: n hemisphere
Reference: [Hardin 1957 Brittonia 9:145–170, 173–194]



Shrub or tree, 4–30 m, < 15 m diam
Leaves deciduous
Inflorescence: pedicels jointed; seed-producing flowers generally at tip
Flower ill-smelling; sepals fused into tube; style of seed-producing flowers long, thick, of sterile flowers short
Species in genus: ± 15 species: n hemisphere; some cultivated
Etymology: (Latin: name of some oak)


A. californica (Spach) Nutt.


Large shrub or tree, 4–12 m, broad, rounded
Leaf: leaflets 5–7, 6–17 cm, oblong-lanceolate, finely serrate, acute to acuminate; petiole 1–12 cm
Inflorescence panicle-like, erect, 1–2 dm, finely hairy; pedicel 3–10 mm
Flower: calyx 5–8 mm, 2-lobed; petals 12–18 mm, white to pale rose; stamens 5–7, 18–30 mm, exserted, anthers orange
Fruit generally 1 (sometimes 2–9), 5–8 cm diam, borne at inflorescence tip
Seed generally 1, 2–5 cm, glossy brown
Chromosomes: n=20
Ecology: Dry slopes, canyons, borders of streams
Elevation: < 1700 m.
Bioregional distribution: c&s Northwestern California, s Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada Foothills, Tehachapi Mountain Area, n&c Central Western California, sw Mojave Desert, scattered in Great Central Valley near foothills
Flowering time: May–Jun
All parts TOXIC. Native Americans used ground seed as fish poison; nectar and pollen toxic to honeybees
Horticultural information: 4, 5, 6, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; IRR: 3, 8, 9, 10, 18; CVS. Generally deciduous Jun–Feb.

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bioregional map for AESCULUS%20californica being generated
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Aesculus californica
Retrieve dichotomous key for Aesculus
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
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