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.



Niall F. McCarten

Annual, perennial herb, shrub
Stem generally erect, branched, glabrous, hairy, or glandular
Leaves generally cauline, alternate, opposite, or whorled, simple, sessile, generally linear to ovate; stipules glandular or 0
Inflorescence: raceme or cyme, axillary, open to dense
Flower generally bisexual, radial, nodding in bud; sepals 4–5, free, glabrous, hairy, or margins gland-toothed; petals 4–5, free, blue, white, yellow, or pink, ephemeral; stamens 4–5, alternate petals, generally appendaged; staminodes alternate stamens or 0; ovary superior, chambers 2–5 but becoming 4–10 by growth of false septa, styles 2–5
Fruit: generally capsule
Genera in family: 13 genera, 300 species: worldwide, especially temp; some cultivated (Linum usitatissimum , flax, linseed; L. bienne, L. grandiflorum , ornamental)
Reference: [Robertson 1971 J Arnold Arbor 52: 649–665]



Stem 5–50 cm
Leaves generally alternate, generally thread-like to linear, generally flat, generally not clasping
Inflorescence: cyme, generally open; pedicels thread-like, generally ascending to erect
Flower: sepals 5, glabrous, hairy, or margins minutely gland-toothed; petals 5, generally widely spreading, 1–12 mm, yellow or white to rose, each with 3 small scales at inner base; stamens 5; staminodes 0; ovary chambers 4 or 6, styles 2–3, stigmas ± = styles in width
Fruit: surface smooth
Species in genus: 13 species: especially CA; mostly localized, mostly on serpentine
Etymology: (Greek & Latin: western flax)
Reference: [Sharsmith 1961 Univ Calif Publ Bot 32:235–314]
Generally self-pollinated. Segregated from Linum.


H. spergulinum (A. Gray) Small

Plant 10–30 cm, nearly glabrous
Leaves alternate, linear
Inflorescence ± raceme-like, widely spreading; pedicels 6–25 mm, generally pendent or ± reflexed
Flower: sepals 1.5–3.5 mm, glabrous except margins minutely gland-toothed; petals 4–7 mm, white or pale pink, veins often darker; stamens 4–9 mm, anthers pink to red-purple margined white; ovary chambers 6, styles 3, 3.5–7 mm, whitish
Chromosomes: n=18
Ecology: Chaparral or woodland margins, including serpentine
Elevation: 100–1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: c&s North Coast Ranges, w San Francisco Bay Area.

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