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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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LYTHRACEAE

LOOSESTRIFE FAMILY

Elizabeth McClintock

Annual, perennial herb, shrubs, trees
Stem angled or cylindric
Leaves simple, entire, generally opposite, sometimes alternate or whorled
Inflorescence: raceme, spike, or panicle, terminal, or axillary clusters with 1–several flowers
Flower bisexual, generally radial; hypanthium cylindric to bell-shaped, generally membranous, persistent in fruit; sepals 4–6, generally persistent, appendages 3–5 or 0, alternate sepals; petals, stamens inserted on inner hypanthium; petals 4–6 or 0, alternate sepals, deciduous; stamens generally = or 2 X petals, included or exserted; ovary superior, chambers 2–6, style generally slender, stigma head-like
Fruit: capsule, opening by valves from top, splitting sometimes irregular or 0
Seeds 3–many
Genera in family: ± 25 genera, 450 species: temp, tropical, generally in wet habitats. Some ornamental or cultivated for medicine, dyes
Reference: [Graham 1964 J Arnold Arbor 45:235–250]

LYTHRUM

Annual, perennial herb
Stem prostrate to erect, sometimes 4-angled
Leaves opposite, alternate, or whorled, linear to ovate, sessile or short-petioled
Inflorescence: raceme- or spike-like; flowers generally 1–2 per axil; bracts 2 per node
Flower radial to slightly bilateral, sometimes of 2–3 forms (heterostyly); hypanthium cylindric to bell-shaped; sepals 4–6, appendages < to > sepals; petals 4–6 or 0; stamens 4–6 or 12, included or exserted; styles < to > stamens
Fruit generally cylindric, generally dehiscent by 2 valves
Seeds many, < 1 mm
Species in genus: ± 35 species: temp
Etymology: (Greek: blood, from flower color)
Reference: [Stuckey 1980 Bartonia 47:3–20]

Introduced

L. portula (L.) D.A. Webb

Annual, prostrate, not heterostylous
Stem prostrate to decumbent, 5–25 cm, branching at base, rooting at nodes, reddish, glabrous
Leaves opposite, 5–10 mm, oblong to obovate, fleshy
Inflorescence: flower 1 per axil, sessile; bracts narrowly lanceolate
Flower: hypanthium 1–2 mm, broadly bell-shaped; sepals deltate, ± = appendages; appendages linear; petals ± 1 mm, sometimes 0, white to rose-pink; stamens generally 6
Fruit ± spheric, > hypanthium
Chromosomes: 2n=10
Ecology: Drying ponds, lake margins
Elevation: 1000–2200 m.
Bioregional distribution: n High Sierra Nevada
Distribution outside California: native to Europe
Synonyms: Peplis portula L

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bioregional map for LYTHRUM%20portula being generated
 
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