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©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.

POLYGONACEAE

BUCKWHEAT FAMILY

James C. Hickman

Annual to trees, some dioecious
Stem: nodes often swollen
Leaves simple, basal or cauline, alternate, opposite, or whorled, generally entire; stipules 0 or obvious and fused into a generally scarious sheath around stem
Inflorescence: small cluster, axillary or arrayed in cymes or panicles; involucres sometimes subtending 1–many flowers
Flower generally bisexual, small, ± radial; perianth generally 5–6-lobed, base ± tapered, often jointed to pedicel; stamens 2–9, often in 2 whorls; ovary superior, styles generally 3, generally fused at base
Fruit: achene, generally enclosed by persistent perianth, generally 3-angled, ovoid, and glabrous
Genera in family: 50 genera, 1100 species: worldwide, especially n temp; some cultivated for food (Fagopyrum ; Rheum , rhubarb; Rumex , sorrel) or ornamental (Antigonon , coral-vine; Muehlenbeckia ; Polygonum )
Reference: [Ronse Decraene & Akeroyd 1988 Bot J Linn Soc 98:321–371; Reveal et al. 1989 Phytologia 66(2–4):83–414]
Treatments of the 15 eriogonoid genera are based on the monographic work of James L. Reveal, who is gratefully acknowledged.

MUCRONEA

Annual, glandular
Leaves basal; stipule 0; petiole indistinct; blade oblanceolate
Inflorescence open; bract 1 per node, 5–25 mm, lobes 3, awned; involucre generally 1 per node, sessile, cylindric, lobes 2–4, awned, awns straight, often unequal; flower generally 1 per involucre
Flower: perianth white to pink, hairy, lobes 6; stamens 6–9
Fruit 2–3 mm, lanceolate in outline, brown to black
Species in genus: 2 species: CA
Etymology: (Latin: sharp-pointed, from bracts)
Reference: [Reveal 1989 Phytologia 66:199–220]

Native

M. perfoliata (A. Gray) A. Heller

PERFOLIATE SPINEFLOWER

Plant 2–30 mm; non-glandular hairs nearly 0
Leaf generally 30–60 mm
Inflorescence: bracts encircling stem, generally 10–25 mm, generally lobed < halfway to base; involucre 1 per node, 3–8 mm, asymmetric or ± bilateral, lobes 4, awns < 1.5 mm; flower 1 per involucre
Flower: perianth lobes generally jagged
Chromosomes: n=19
Ecology: Chaparral, Joshua-tree woodland, etc., in sandy soils
Elevation: 150–1900 m.
Bioregional distribution: s Sierra Nevada Foothills, Tehachapi Mountain Area, San Joaquin Valley, Inner South Coast Ranges, n Western Transverse Ranges, w Mojave Desert
Flowering time: Apr–Jun
Synonyms: Chorizanthe p. A. Gray
Horticultural information: TRY.

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