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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.



Lawrence R. Heckard

Annual, perennial herb, glandular-hairy, generally strongly scented
Leaves simple, opposite or alternate; stipules 0; petiole long
Inflorescence: raceme, terminal, bracted; bractlets 2, just below flower
Flower bisexual; sepals 5, ± unequal; corolla 2-lipped, generally 5-lobed; stamens epipetalous, generally 2 long, 2 short, 1 vestigial; ovary superior, 1-chambered, placentas 2, parietal, each 2-lobed, style > ovary, curved, stigma 2-lobed, flat, generally closing when touched
Fruit: capsule, drupe-like; outer layer fleshy, deciduous; inner layer ultimately exposed, woody; beak incurved, splitting to form 2 horns (claws)
Genera in family: 3 genera, 15 species: generally ± tropical Am; some cultivated. Placed by some authors in Pedaliaceae (Sesame Family)
Reference: [Bretting & Nilsson 1988 Syst Bot 13:51–59]



Annual, perennial herb; taproot branched or tuberous
Stem prostrate to spreading, generally < 1 m
Leaf: blade broadly ovate to round or triangular, palmately veined (generally palmately lobed), base cordate
Inflorescence: bractlets < calyx
Flower: calyx 1–2 cm, generally 5-lobed and split to base on lower side (or sepals free); corolla 2–5 cm, bell- to funnel-shaped, showy, tube cylindric, generally < 1 cm, bent downward, throat 10–30 mm, limb with 5 flaring lobes, throat and lower limb with colored lines ("nectar guides")
Fruit: body 5–10 cm, fusiform; surface sculptured or spiny throughout, crested with branched projections generally only along upper suture; beak (claws) 1.5–3 X body
Seed 8–13 mm, angled, generally black, corky
Species in genus: 8 species: Am
Etymology: (Greek: beak)
Dispersed by attachment of fruit claw to animals.


P. parviflora (Wooton) Wooton & Standl. subsp. parviflora

Annual; barely ill-smelling
Leaf: blade generally 5–15 cm wide, ± broadly ovate-triangular, entire to shallowly 3–7-lobed or -toothed
Inflorescence 4–10-flowered, < or barely overtopping leaves
Flower not fragrant; corolla generally white to pink, purplish mottled, throat with 2 lines of purplish spots or not; upper corolla lip purplish splotched; nectar guides yellow; anther 2–3 mm; stigma not closing with touch
Fruit: body 2–3 cm thick, narrowly ovoid
Chromosomes: 2n=30
Ecology: Uncommon. Disturbed, dry places
Elevation: < 1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: Southwestern California, Desert
Distribution outside California: to Texas, Mexico
Flowering time: Summer
Plants from D with white seed, fruit crests > 5 cm long and > 5 mm high, horns > 18 cm have been called var. hohokamiana Bretting: cultivated by sw native Americans for black basket fibers from claws
Horticultural information: TRY.

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bioregional map for PROBOSCIDEA%20parviflora%20subsp.%20parviflora being generated

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