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.



Lawrence R. Heckard, Family Coordinator

Annual to shrubs, generally glandular, some green root-parasites
Stem generally round
Leaves generally alternate, simple, generally ± entire; stipules generally 0
Inflorescence: spike to panicle, generally bracted, or flowers 1–2 in axils
Flower bisexual; calyx lobes generally 5; corolla generally strongly bilateral, generally 2-lipped (upper lip generally 2-lobed, lower lip generally 3-lobed); stamens generally 4 in 2 pairs, generally included, a 5th (generally uppermost) sometimes present as a staminode; pistil 1, ovary superior, chambers generally 2, placentas axile, style 1, stigma lobes generally 2
Fruit: capsule, generally ± ovoid, loculicidal or septicidal
Seed: coat sculpture often characteristic
Genera in family: ± 200 genera, 3000 species: ± worldwide; some cultivated as ornamental (e.g., Antirrhinum, Mimulus, Penstemon ) or medicinal (Digitalis )
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated to include only Buddleja, Scrophularia, and Verbascum in CA; other genera moved to Orobanchaceae (Castilleja, Cordylanthus, Orthocarpus, Pedicularis, Triphysaria), Phrymaceae (Mimulus), and Plantaginaceae (= Veronicaceae sensu Olmstead et al.)
Key to genera by Elizabeth Chase Neese & Margriet Wetherwax.



T.I. Chuang and Lawrence R. Heckard

Annual to subshrub, green root-parasites
Leaves sessile, entire to dissected
Inflorescence spike-like; bracts becoming shorter, wider, more lobed than leaves, tips generally colored
Flower: calyx generally unequally 4-lobed, generally colored like bract tips; corolla upper lip beak-like, tip open, lower lip generally reduced, 3-toothed to -pouched; stamens 4; anther sacs 2, unequal; stigma entire to 2-lobed, generally exserted
Fruit loculicidal, ± ovoid, ± asymmetric
Seed generally ± brown, attached at base; coat netted, net-like walls sometimes aligned ladder-like
Species in genus: ± 200 species: especially w North America
Etymology: (Domingo Castillejo, Spanish botanist)
Reference: [Chuang & Heckard 1991 Syst Bot 16:644–666]
Highly variable within and between populations. Hybridization and polyploidy common; polyploid forms may have separate ranges or be ± identifiable within populations by minor characters. Biologically consistent taxa very difficult to define
Horticultural information: TRY with host; usually DFCLT.


C. minor (A. Gray) A. Gray

Annual, ± simple, ± slender, 30–150 cm, green to grayish, variously hairy
Leaf 40–100 mm, linear-lanceolate, entire
Inflorescence 10–40 cm, narrow, open below; bracts 20–50 mm, leaf-like, entire, tips red, ± long-tapered; pedicels < 10 mm below (0 above)
Flower: calyx 14–28 mm, divided 2/3–3/4 in back and front, ± 1/8 on sides, soft-hairy, lobes narrow, acute; corolla 15–35 mm, beak < tube, back ± puberulent, margins pale, lower lip 2–3 mm, yellowish, exserted from calyx, spreading; stigma slightly 2-lobed
Fruit 10–15 mm
Seed 1–1.5 mm; coat ± deeply netted, most walls ladder-like
Chromosomes: 2n=24
Ecology: Wet places
Elevation: < 2300 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast Ranges, c&s Sierra Nevada Foothills, San Joaquin Valley, Central Coast, n San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast, Great Basin Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: to Washington, New Mexico


subsp. minor

Hairs long, soft, mostly glandular
Flower: corolla 15–20(30) mm
Ecology: Alkaline marshes
Elevation: 1200–2200 m.
Bioregional distribution: Great Basin Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: to Washington, New Mexico
Flowering time: Jul–Sep
Synonyms: C. exilis Nelson

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