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.



Shrub, tree, generally dioecious (rarely monoecious)
Stem: trunk < 40 m; wood soft; bark smooth, bitter; buds scaly
Leaves simple, alternate, deciduous; stipules generally deciduous, often large
Inflorescence: catkin, generally appearing before leaves; each flower subtended by disk or 1–2 nectary glands and 1 bract
Flower: perianth 0
Staminate flower: stamens 1–many
Pistillate flower: pistil 1, ovary superior, chamber 1, stigma lobes 2–4
Seeds many; hairs fine, white, cottony
Fruit: capsule; valves 2–4
Genera in family: 2 genera, 340 species: generally temp (except Australia, Malay Archipelago) moist places; many cultivated. Hybridization common; identification often difficult. Family description, key to genera by John O. Sawyer, Jr.



George W. Argus

Shrub, tree, dioecious; bud scale 1, not sticky, margins generally fused (or free, overlapping)
Stem: twigs generally flexible and not glaucous
Leaf: blade linear to widely obovate, entire to toothed, generally ± hairy
Inflorescence: dense catkin emerging before, with, or after leaves, sessile or on a short leafy shoot; bract subtending each flower
Flower: perianth 0
Staminate flower: stamens 1–8
Pistillate flower: ovary stalked or sessile, style 1 or 0, stigmas 2, each sometimes 2-lobed; nectaries 1–several, generally rod-like, generally between inflorescence axis and flower
Fruit: valves 2
Species in genus: ± 400 species: ± worldwide, especially n temp, arctic
Etymology: (Latin: ancient name)
Reference: [Argus 1986 Syst Bot Monog 9:1–170; Dorn 1976 Canad J Bot 54:2769–2789]
Difficult, highly variable. Not all specimens will key easily; sprout shoots and other extreme forms are not included in keys, may require field comparison for identification. Studies of variation, hybridization needed.


S. orestera C.K. Schneid.


Shrub < 2 m
Stem: twigs yellowish to brownish, glaucous or not, silky or short-shaggy-hairy, becoming glabrous
Leaves: stipules leaf-like; young leaves silky; mature blade 35–95 mm, lanceolate to oblanceolate, acute (both ends), entire, silky, dull above, glaucous below or this obscured by hairs
Inflorescence appearing with leaves, 12–55 mm, on leafy shoots 3–15 mm (shoot leaves entire or margins gland-dotted); flower bract dark brown
Staminate flower: stamens 2
Pistillate flower: ovary silky, style 0.6–1 mm, stalk 0.8–2 mm
Ecology: Alpine and subalpine meadows, wet places
Elevation: 2100–4000 m.
Bioregional distribution: High Sierra Nevada, White and Inyo Mountains
Distribution outside California: w Nevada
Flowering time: Jun–Jul
Synonyms: S. commutata Bebb var. rubicunda Jeps. misapplied
Possibly derived from S. eastwoodiae A. Heller X S. lemmonii Bebb (should be studied near Kaiser Pass, ne Fresno Co.). Does not hybridize with S. eastwoodiae A. Heller where they occur together
Horticultural information: TRY; STBL.

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