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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.


Perennial from woody caudex, stellate-hairy
Stem erect, branched, 6–20 dm
Leaf: blade generally 3–7-lobed
Inflorescence: flowers generally 1–3 in upper axils (stem tip appearing as an interrupted spike); bractlets subtending calyx 3, free, linear to lanceolate, persistent
Flower 2.5–6 cm diam; petals white to rose-purple; stigmas head-like
Fruit: segments generally 10–15, 6–10 mm, generally > calyx, ± oblong, ± bur-like, dehiscent except for lower inside margin, attached to fruit axis by strong fiber; top rounded; side walls thin, smooth, glabrous; outer surface bristly and stellate
Seeds 2–4 per segment, puberulent
Species in genus: 7 species: w North America
Etymology: (Greek: derivation uncertain)
Reference: [Wiggins 1936 Contr Dudley Herb 1:213–229]


I. latibracteata Wiggins


Stem 10–20 dm; finely stellate-hairy
Leaf: petiole 5–14 cm, slender; stipules 6–10 mm; blade 8–20 cm, deeply palmately 5–7-lobed, upper surface glabrous, lower surface canescent, base truncate to cordate
Inflorescence sometimes appearing as a crowded raceme; bractlets 10–14 mm
Flower: calyx 8–10 mm; petals 2–3 cm, rose-purple
Seeds 2–3 per fruit segment
Ecology: UNCOMMON. Conifer forests, streamsides
Elevation: 500–2000 m.
Bioregional distribution: nw Klamath Ranges (Humboldt, Del Norte cos.)
Distribution outside California: sw Oregon
Horticultural information: TRY.
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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