Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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

SIMMONDSIACEAE

JOJOBA FAMILY

William J. Stone

Shrub, evergreen, dioecious, much-branched, unusual secondary growth
Stem: bark smooth
Leaves opposite, simple, small, leathery; base jointed; stipules 0
Inflorescence: staminate flowers in axillary clusters; pistillate flowers generally solitary
Flower: small, radial; sepals generally 5, overlapping, becoming larger in female, disk 0; corolla 0; stamens 8–12, free, anthers elongate with longitudinal slits; ovary superior, chambers 3, styles 3, stigmas long, feathery
Fruit: capsule, loculicidal
Seed 1
Genera in family: 1 genus: sw US, Mex. Sometimes placed in Buxaceae.

SIMMONDSIA

JOJOBA, GOAT-NUT, PIG-NUT


Species in genus: 1 sp
Etymology: (F.W. Simmonds, English botanist, died exploring Trinidad in 1804)

Native

S. chinensis (Link) C.K. Schneid.


Stem 1–2 m; young growth ± hairy; branches stiff
Leaf 2–4 cm, oblong-ovate, dull green, ± canescent-puberulent, subsessile
Inflorescence: peduncles 3–10 mm
Flower: sepals in staminate flowers 3–4 mm, greenish, in pistillate flower becoming 10–20 mm
Fruit < 2.5 mm, nut-like, ovoid, tough, leathery, obtusely 3-angled
Seed large, contains liquid wax
Chromosomes: 2n=26. Locally
Ecology: common. Arid areas
Elevation: < 1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: w Peninsular Ranges, San Jacinto Mountains, Sonoran Desert
Distribution outside California: n Mexico
Flowering time: Mar–May
Synonyms: S. californica Nutt
Important as forage plant, seed wax is source of substitute for sperm oil, fruit edible
Horticultural information: DRN: 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 19, 20, 21 &SUN: 14, 18, 22, 23, 24 &DRY: 7, 15, 16, 17; CVS.

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