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.



John O. Sawyer, Jr. (except Ceanothus)

Shrub, vine, tree, generally erect, often thorny
Leaves simple, generally alternate, often clustered on short-shoots, generally petioled, generally stipuled; blade often 1–3-ribbed from base
Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, or flowers solitary in axils
Flower generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium subtending, surrounding, or partly fused to ovary; sepals 4 or 5; petals 0, 4, or 5, clawed; stamens 4 or 5, alternate sepals, attached to hypanthium top, each generally fitting into a petal concavity; ovary superior or partly inferior, chambers 2–5, each 1–2-ovuled, style lobes or parts 1–3
Fruit: capsule, drupe
Genera in family: 55 genera, 900 species: especially tropical, subtropical; some cultivated (Ceanothus ; Colletia , anchor-plant; Gouania ; Phylica ; Rhamnus ; Ventilago ; Ziziphus )
Reference: [Brizicky 1965 J Arnold Arbor 45:439–463]


Tree, shrub
Stem: branches opposite and alternate, rigid; twigs spreading, thorn-tipped or not, generally hairy
Leaves in part clustered on short-shoots, evergreen or deciduous; stipules deciduous; blade 3–5-ribbed from base, entire but generally with round, marginal glands
Inflorescence umbel-like, few-flowered; axis sometimes thorn-tipped
Flower: hypanthium filled with nectar in flower, lower part adhering to developing fruit, upper deciduous; sepals 5; petals 5, oblanceolate, = sepals; stamens 5; ovary chambers 3, each 1-ovuled, styles 3
Fruit: capsule, shallowly 3-valved
Species in genus: 31 species: warm places, worldwide
Etymology: (Latin: from French for serpent tree)
Reference: [Johnston 1971 Brittonia 23:2–53]


C. californica I.M. Johnst.


Shrub < 3 m
Leaves deciduous; blade 12–30 mm, oblong to obovate, dull gray-green, hairs silky, denser on lower surface, base rounded or wedge-shaped, tip rounded to ± notched, sometimes with a small point
Inflorescence 5–10 mm, 3–12-flowered, very dense; pedicel 1–2 mm, 2–4 mm in fruit
Flowers appearing after rain; hypanthium 3 mm wide
Fruit 8–10 mm, persistent 3–6 months
Ecology: UNCOMMON. Creosote-bush scrub
Elevation: < 1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: Sonoran Desert
Distribution outside California: Arizona, Mexico
Flowering time: Apr–May
Horticultural information: DRN, DRY, SUN: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23.
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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