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©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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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)

Introduced

Z. fabago L.


Stem erect, glabrous
Leaf: leaflets < 4.5 cm, 3 cm wide, obliquely ovate; awn between leaflets 1 mm
Flower 6–7 mm; sepals ± = petals; stamens exserted, appendages < stamens, ± linear, divided at tip
Fruit 25–35 mm, oblong-cylindric; style persistent, thread-like, < 7 mm; peduncle reflexed
Ecology: Uncommon. Disturbed areas
Elevation: < 1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: Outer North Coast Ranges, San Joaquin Valley, Desert
Distribution outside California: native to Mediterranean, c Asia
Flowering time: Summer
Synonyms: var. brachycarpum Boiss
Forms large colonies.

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bioregional map for ZYGOPHYLLUM%20fabago being generated
 
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Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Zygophyllum fabago
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