Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

link to manual TREATMENT FROM THE JEPSON MANUAL (1993) previous taxon | next taxon
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.



Carol A. Hoffman

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, vine; sap milky
Leaves simple, generally opposite or whorled; stipules 0 or small
Inflorescence: cyme, terminal or axillary, umbel- or raceme-like, or flower solitary
Flower bisexual, radial; sepals 5, generally reflexed; petals 5, generally reflexed or spreading; stamens 5, fused to form filament column and anther head, generally with 5 elaborate appendages on outside of filament column, pollen removed in pairs of massive sacs; ovaries 2, superior, free, style tips generally fused into massive pistil head surrounded by anther head
Fruit: follicle (1 ovary generally aborts)
Seeds many, ± flat, with tuft of silky hairs
Genera in family: 50–250 genera, 2000–3000 species: especially tropical, subtropical South America, s Africa; ornamental (Asclepias, Hoya, Stapelia). Cardiac glycosides produced by some; used as arrow poisons, in medicine to control heart contraction, and by some insects for defense
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated to be included within Apocynaceae


Perennial, shrub
Stem twining (elsewhere sometimes prostrate to erect)
Leaves opposite; blade often ± cordate
Inflorescence: flowers 1–2, axillary (elsewhere various)
Flower: corolla ± spreading, ring of tissue at base 0; filament-column appendages generally fused margin-to-margin into 5-lobed, cup- or plate-like structure around anther head, fused to base of filament column, each lobe with a vertical, flap-like ridge; pistil head flat
Fruit erect or pendent, fusiform to ± ovoid, smooth, generally tubercled
Species in genus: ± 200 species: tropical, warm temp Am
Reference: [Stevens 1976 Diss Abstr B 37(2):587]


M. parvifolia (Torr.) Woodson


Stem slender, much-branched, < 0.5 m
Leaf: blade 0.5–2 cm, cordate-sagittate
Flower: corolla greenish or purple, each sinus with acute, turned-out tooth
Fruit ± 7 cm, with fine longitudinal grooves
Ecology: Dry rocky areas
Elevation: 700–1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: Desert
Distribution outside California: to Nevada, Texas, Baja California
Flowering time: Mar–May
Populations widely scattered.
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
previous taxon | next taxon
bioregional map for MATELEA%20parvifolia being generated

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Matelea parvifolia
Retrieve dichotomous key for Matelea
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions | Get lists of plants in a bioregion
Return to the Jepson Interchange main page
Return to treatment index page

University & Jepson Herbaria Home Page |
General Information | University Herbarium | Jepson Herbarium |
Visiting the Herbaria | On-line Resources | Research |
Education | Related Sites
Copyright © by the Regents of the University of California