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.



Annual to tree
Leaves simple to pinnately to palmately compound, generally alternate; stipules free to fused, persistent to deciduous
Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flowers solitary
Flower generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium free or fused to ovary, saucer- to funnel-shaped, often with bractlets alternate with sepals; sepals generally 5; petals generally 5, free; stamens (0)5–many, pistils (0)1–many, simple or compound; ovary superior to inferior, styles 1–5
Fruit: achene, follicle, drupe, pome, or blackberry- to raspberry-like
Seeds generally 1–5
Genera in family: 110 genera, ± 3000 species: worldwide, especially temp. Many cultivated for ornamental and fruit, especially Cotoneaster , Fragaria , Malus , Prunus , Pyracantha, Rosa , and Rubus
Reference: [Robertson 1974 J Arnold Arbor 55:303–332,344–401,611–662]
Family description, key to genera by Barbara Ertter and Dieter H. Wilken.


Barbara Ertter

Annual, inconspicuous, nonglandular
Stem spreading to erect
Leaves palmately lobed
Inflorescence: flowers several per leaf axil, ± hidden by sheathing stipules
Flower: hypanthium ± urn-shaped; bractlets 0–4; sepals 4; petals 0; stamen generally 1; pistil generally 1, ovary superior, jointed to style near base
Fruit: hypanthium encasing achene
Species in genus: 10–20 species: worldwide, especially Medit
Etymology: (Greek: unseen, from hidden flowers)
Reference: [Rothmaler 1937 Feddes Repert 42:164–173]


A. occidentalis (Nutt.) Rydb.

Stem generally 2–10 cm
Leaf generally 3–12 mm; stipules widely ovate, deeply few-toothed; petiole (between stipule, blade) generally 1–5 mm; blade generally 2–5 mm, ± round, lobes 3, > 2/3 to base, again toothed or lobed
Flower 0.5–2 mm; bractlets 0–0.5 mm; sepals 0.2–0.6 mm
Fruit: achene ± 1 mm, ovoid
Ecology: Seasonally moist grassland, chaparral, woodland
Elevation: 30–1200 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Sierra Nevada Foothills, Sacramento Valley, Central Western California, Southwestern California
Distribution outside California: to Washington, Baja California
Synonyms: Alchemilla o. Nutt
Highly variable, with several ± separable forms. Relation to species of Medit unclear. n NCo plants with more hidden flowers resemble A. microcarpa (Boiss. & Reut.) Rothm. of eastern North America, Eur. A. arvensis L. (larger plants) weedy in OR, WA.

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