Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

 
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ZYGOPHYLLACEAE

CALTROP FAMILY

Duncan M. Porter

Herb, shrub, often armed; caudex present or not
Stem branched; nodes often angled, swollen
Leaves 1-compound, opposite; stipules persistent or deciduous; leaflets entire
Inflorescence: flowers 1–2 in axils
Flower bisexual; sepals 5, free, persistent or deciduous; petals 5, free, generally spreading, sometimes twisted and appearing propeller-like; stamens 10, sometimes appendaged on inside base; ovary superior, chambers 5–10, ovules 1–several per chamber, placentas axile
Fruit: capsule or splitting into 5–10 nutlets
Genera in family: 26 genera, ± 250 species: widespread especially in warm, dry regions; some cultivated (Guaiacum, lignum vitae; Peganum, harmal (NOXIOUS and illegal); Tribulus, caltrop (pernicious)). Peganum harmala L. has been reported as a pernicious weed near Daggett, San Bernardino Co
Reference: [Porter 1972 J Arnold Arbor 53:531–552]

ZYGOPHYLLUM

BEAN-CAPER

Perennial, unarmed; caudex woody
Stem branched, fleshy
Leaf: stipules ± leaf-like or membranaceous; leaflets 2 or more, free, fleshy
Inflorescence: flowers 1–2 in axils
Flower: sepals often unequal, deciduous or not; petals ± erect, white, yellow, or orange, base sometimes orange or red
Fruit: capsule, cylindric to spheric, 5-angled, septicidal
Seeds 1–few per chamber
Species in genus: ± 70 species: Eurasia, s Africa, Australia
Etymology: (Greek: yoke leaf, from sometimes oblique leaflets)

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