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.



Michael Nee

Annual to shrub
Leaves generally simple, generally alternate, generally petioled; stipules 0; blade entire to deeply lobed
Inflorescence various
Flower bisexual; calyx lobes generally 5; corolla ± radial, cylindric to rotate, lobes generally 5; stamens 5, alternate corolla lobes; ovary superior, generally 2-chambered, style 1
Fruit: berry or capsule, 2–5-chambered
Genera in family: 75 genera, 3000 species: worldwide, especially ± tropical; many alien weeds in CA; many cultivated for food, drugs, or ornamental (potato, tomato, peppers, tobacco, petunia); many TOXIC.


Annual or perennial herb, sticky-glandular
Stem: main branches from base, with ± long internodes
Leaves subopposite near flowers, entire
Inflorescence: flowers solitary in axils of leaves or leaf-like bracts
Flower: calyx divided nearly to base, lobes ± leaf-like, especially in fruit; corolla funnel-shaped, 5-lobed; stamens ± equal or 1 short, 2 medium, 2 long
Fruit: capsule
Seeds many, minute, spheric to angled
Species in genus: ± 30 species: generally South America; some cultivated for ornamental, sometimes waifs
Etymology: (Native Am: petun, name for tobacco)


P. parviflora Juss.

Stem prostrate to decumbent, < 4 dm, rooting at nodes; axillary branches short, leafy
Leaf 5–14 mm, ± oblanceolate, fleshy, ± subsessile
Flower: calyx lobes 3–6 mm, < 11 mm in fruit, elliptic to narrowly obovate; corolla 4–6 mm, purplish, tube whitish
Fruit 2–3 mm
Seeds pale brown
Ecology: Open washes, dry streambeds
Elevation: < 1300 m.
Bioregional distribution: Central Western California, South Coast, n Channel Islands (Santa Rosa Island), Peninsular Ranges, Sonoran Desert
Distribution outside California: to sw Utah, se US, Mexico; also S.America; waif elsewhere in US
Flowering time: Apr–Aug

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