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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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Elizabeth McClintock

In CA perennial herb, terrestrial or aquatic, from short, generally erect caudex, often monoecious; elsewhere shrub, vine, or growing on other plant
Stems sometimes above ground in addition to caudex
Leaves simple or compound, basal (or cauline and 2-ranked)
Inflorescence: generally spike, fleshy, generally ill-smelling; flowers generally many, bisexual or pistillate below, staminate above; bract subtending spike 1, generally showy (petal-like), generally > spike, sometimes sheathing
Flower: perianth parts 4 or 6, free or fused; stamens generally 0, 4, or 6, free or fused; ovary superior to half-inferior and sunken in inflorescence axis, chambers 1–3, stigma ± sessile
Fruit: berry
Seeds 1–many
Genera in family: ± 110 genera, 1800 species: generally tropical, subtropical. Some cultivated for food (Colocasia , taro) or ornamental (Philodendron, Anthurium )
Reference: [Wilson 1960 J Arnold Arbor 41:47–63]
Needle-like crystals in most tissues cause intense irritation when chewed; those of Dieffenbachia, dumb-cane, may induce temporary speechlessness.


Perennial from thick, fibrous, clumped rhizomes, monoecious
Leaves basal; petiole long; blade sagittate to hastate, pinnately veined
Inflorescence generally > bract; bract oblong, enclosing pistillate flowers, opening slightly above, exposing staminate flowers
Flowers embedded in inflorescence axis; perianth 0
Staminate flower: stamens 4–5
Pistillate flower: ovary chamber 1, style stout
Fruit red or green
Seeds 1–3
Species in genus: 3–4 species: native to eastern North America
Etymology: (Greek: hidden anthers)


P. virginica (L.) Schott & Endl.


Plant < 1 m
Leaf: blade 10–30 cm, bright green, lower lobes long, acute
Inflorescence < bract; bract 10–20 cm, green, margin pale green or white, upper part (surrounding staminate flowers) decaying, lower part persistent in fruit
Fruit brown
Seeds 1–3, enclosed by gelatinous, translucent pulp
Ecology: Uncommon. Ponds, reservoirs
Elevation: < 400 m.
Bioregional distribution: sw San Joaquin Valley (ne San Luis Obispo Co.)
Distribution outside California: native to e N.America

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bioregional map for PELTANDRA%20virginica being generated
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Peltandra virginica
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Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
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