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.



Steven R. Hill, except as specified

Annual, perennial herb, shrubs, trees, generally stellate-hairy; juice sticky; inner bark tough, fibrous
Leaves alternate, simple, petioled; blade generally palmately veined or lobed, stipules present
Inflorescence often leafy; whorl or involucre of bractlets often subtending calyx
Flower generally bisexual, radial; calyx lobes 5, margins abutting in bud; petals 5, free (fused at base to filament tube, so falling together); stamens many, filaments fused into a tube surrounding style, tube fused in turn to petal bases; pistil 1, ovary superior, chambers generally 5 or more, style branches, stigmas generally 1 or 2 X as many as chambers
Fruit of 5–many disk- or wedge-shaped segments, loculicidal capsule, or berry
Genera in family: 100 genera, 2000 species: worldwide, especially warm regions; some cultivated (e.g., Abelmoschus , okra; Alcea ; Gossypium , cotton; Hibiscus , Malvaviscus )
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated to include Sterculiaceae [Angiosperm phylogeny Group 1998 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 85:531–553; Alverson et al. 1999 Amer J Bot 86:1474–1486; Bayer et al. 1999 Bot J Linn Soc 129:267–303]
Mature fruit important for identification.


Subshrub, densely stellate-tomentose or -scabrous
Stem erect
Leaf: petiole stout; blade lanceolate to round, cordate, ± entire or irregularly fine-toothed
Inflorescence: panicle or flowers solitary in axils; bractlets subtending calyx 0
Flower: petals yellow-orange to red-lavender; stigmas head-like
Fruit: segments 8–12, upper portion dehiscent, with 2 spreading, scarious wings; lower portion seed-bearing, indehiscent, firm, net-veined
Seeds 1–3, white-puberulent
Species in genus: 4 species: sw US, Mex
Etymology: (F.H. Horsford, Vermont, botanical collector)
Reference: [Fryxell 1985 Syst Bot 10:268–272]

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