Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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

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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

NYCTAGINACEAE

FOUR O'CLOCK FAMILY

Richard Spellenberg

Perennial, shrub, tree, glabrous or hairy
Stem often forked
Leaves opposite, sessile or petioled, pairs generally unequal; blade generally entire
Inflorescence generally forked; of spikes, clusters, or umbels, each unit sometimes with a calyx-like involucre
Flower bisexual, radial; perianth of 1 whorl, petal-like, bell- to trumpet-shaped, base hardened, tightly surrounding ovary in fruit, lobes 4–5, generally notched to ± bilateral; stamens 1–many; ovary superior (appearing inferior because of hardened perianth base), style 1
Fruit: achene or nut, smooth, wrinkled, or ribbed
Genera in family: 30 genera, 300 species: warm regions, especially Am; some ornamental (Bougainvillea ; Mirabilis , four o'clock).

BOERHAVIA

SPIDERLING

Annual, perennial herb
Stem prostrate to erect; internode often with sticky area
Leaf petioled; blade 1–6 cm, paler beneath, often brown-dotted
Inflorescence openly branched; unit a raceme, umbel, or head; bracts 1–3, free, not forming an involucre
Flower: perianth < 30 mm, bell-shaped, closing by afternoon; stamens 1–5; stigma ± spheric, generally exserted
Fruit < 3.5 mm, club-shaped; ridges 4–5; wings 0
Species in genus: ± 30 species: warm regions. B. spicata Choisy (fruit ribs narrow, acute) is widespread in sw US, expected as agricultural weed near Mex border
Etymology: (H. Boerhaave, Dutch botanist, 1668–1738)

Native

B. wrightii A. Gray

Annual
Stem branched from base, erect, < 7 dm, glandular-hairy
Leaf: blade lanceolate to oblong-ovate, acute
Inflorescence loose, spike-like
Flower 1–2 mm, subtended by wide, reddish, persistent bracts, 2–3 mm in fruit
Fruit 2–2.5 mm, nearly as wide, wrinkled between the 4 wide ridges
Ecology: Dry, sandy places
Elevation: < 1400 m.
Bioregional distribution: Desert
Distribution outside California: to Nevada, Texas, Mexico
Flowering time: Aug–Dec

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