Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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

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

COMMELINACEAE

SPIDERWORT FAMILY

Elizabeth McClintock

Annual, perennial herb, generally glabrous
Stem prostrate to erect or climbing; nodes often rooting
Leaves alternate, entire, simple, linear to ovate, with closed basal sheath or lower leaf clasping stem
Inflorescence: generally cyme or umbel, axillary
Flower generally bisexual, bilateral or radial, generally insect-pollinated; sepals 3, generally green; petals 3, blue, white, or sometimes rose or purple, generally ephemeral; stamens 6 (3 sometimes sterile), filaments generally slender, often hairy; ovary superior, chambers 3
Fruit: generally capsule
Seeds few
Genera in family: ± 50 genera, 700 species: especially tropical, subtropical; some cultivated as ornamental.

TRADESCANTIA

SPIDERWORT

Perennial
Inflorescence: generally umbel, subtended by 2–3 bracts
Flower radial; petals equal, blue, rose, purple, or white; fertile stamens 6, filaments generally hairy
Species in genus: ± 25–30 species: North America, South America
Etymology: (John Tradescant, gardener to King Charles I of England, 1608–1662)

Introduced

T. fluminensis Vell.

Perennial
Stem prostrate or decumbent, rooting at nodes
Leaf 25–60 mm, oblong to ovate, glabrous
Inflorescence: flowers few–many, none cleistogamous; petals 7–8 mm, white; filaments hairy, tissue between anthers triangular
Ecology: Disturbed, shaded, urban areas
Elevation: 500 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast
Distribution outside California: uncommonly naturalized; native to S.America
Streaming protoplasm was discovered in the filament hairs by Robert Brown in England, 1828.

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