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.


Annual, perennial herb, shrub
Leaf: blade entire to palmately lobed
Inflorescence: flowers axillary, generally solitary or clustered; pedicels often jointed; bractlets 0
Flower: petals generally yellow or white; stigmas head-like
Fruit: segments generally 5–15, indehiscent, often beaked, side walls firm, persistent
Seed 1 per fruit segment, not enclosed by net-veined envelope
Species in genus: 150 species: tropical, subtropical, especially Am
Etymology: (Greek: name of Theophrastus for a similar plant)


S. rhombifolia L.

Annual (less commonly per or shrub), puberulent
Stem 3–10 dm, slender, stiff, straight
Leaf: blade 2–7 cm, 1–3 cm wide, generally diamond-shaped (narrowly oblong to ovate), base tapered, margin toothed, especially in upper 1/2, upper surface generally glabrous, lower surface puberulent, paler
Inflorescence: flowers solitary in axils; pedicels jointed above middle
Flower: calyx 6–7 mm, 5–10-veined at base; petals 4–9 mm, pale yellow, > calyx
Fruit: segments 7–14, 3–4 mm, ± net-veined, beaks generally 2, prominent
Ecology: Uncommon. Disturbed places, fields
Elevation: generally < 300 m.
Bioregional distribution: Great Central Valley
Distribution outside California: native to tropical

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