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.



Elizabeth McClintock, except as specified

Perennial, bulbed, cormed, or rhizomed
Stem generally erect
Leaves generally basal (a few cauline), 2-ranked, ± linear, generally grass-like, generally sharply folded along midrib; bases overlapping, sheathing
Inflorescence: spike, raceme, panicle, ± terminal, or flowers solitary; bracts ± like leaf bases, sheathing
Flower generally bisexual, generally radial; hypanthium fused to ovary; perianth parts generally fused into tube above ovary, generally petal-like, in 2 series of 3, outer (sepals) generally ± like inner (petals); stamens 3, generally attached to sepals, filaments fused below into a tube or not; ovary inferior, 3-chambered, placentas generally axile, style 1, each of 3 branches entire or 2-branched or -lobed, petal-like or not, with stigma on under surface instead of at tip
Fruit: capsule, loculicidal
Seeds few–many
Genera in family: 80 genera, ± 1500 species: worldwide, especially Africa; many cultivated (e.g., Iris, Gladiolus, Crocus, Freesia ).


Perennial; corms ± round, with thin, fibrous covering
Stem generally unbranched
Inflorescence: generally spike, terminal; flowers each subtended by 2 ± equal, entire bracts
Flower asymmetric; perianth funnel-shaped, tube curved, basal part ± cylindric, generally > bracts, lobes unequal, upper longest, ± curved, parallel to lateral 2, lowest 3 < upper, reflexed; stamens arched under upper perianth lobe, exserted; style parallel to stamens, exserted, branches each entire
Seeds many, colored
Species in genus: ± 9 species: s Africa, several ornamental
Etymology: (Greek: gaping flower)


C. floribunda (Salisb.) N.E. Br.

Stem generally < 1 m
Leaf 20–65 cm, 2.5–5 cm wide, sometimes wider on 1 side of midrib
Inflorescence: flowers 20–30, 2-ranked
Flower: perianth < 4 cm, scarlet and yellow
Ecology: Uncommon. Disturbed urban areas
Elevation: < 50 m.
Bioregional distribution: Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area
Distribution outside California: native to s Africa
Long mistaken as C. aethiopica (L.) N.E. Br.; plants sometime persist from garden waste.

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