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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.



John O. Sawyer, Jr. (except Ceanothus)

Shrub, vine, tree, generally erect, often thorny
Leaves simple, generally alternate, often clustered on short-shoots, generally petioled, generally stipuled; blade often 1–3-ribbed from base
Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, or flowers solitary in axils
Flower generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium subtending, surrounding, or partly fused to ovary; sepals 4 or 5; petals 0, 4, or 5, clawed; stamens 4 or 5, alternate sepals, attached to hypanthium top, each generally fitting into a petal concavity; ovary superior or partly inferior, chambers 2–5, each 1–2-ovuled, style lobes or parts 1–3
Fruit: capsule, drupe
Genera in family: 55 genera, 900 species: especially tropical, subtropical; some cultivated (Ceanothus ; Colletia , anchor-plant; Gouania ; Phylica ; Rhamnus ; Ventilago ; Ziziphus )
Reference: [Brizicky 1965 J Arnold Arbor 45:439–463]



Clifford L. Schmidt

Shrub, small tree, prostrate to erect, thorny or not
Stem: branches generally arranged as leaves
Leaves alternate or opposite, deciduous or evergreen, petioled; blade 1–3-ribbed from base, margin entire or not
Inflorescence: generally panicle-like aggregations of umbel-like, 3-flowered clusters
Flower generally < 5 mm; hypanthium surrounding fleshy disk below ovary base, in fruit thick, not splitting; sepals generally 5, lanceolate-deltate, incurved, colored like petals, persistent; petals generally 5, hooded, white to deep blue; stamens generally 5, opposite petals; ovary superior, 3-lobed, chambers 3, each 1-ovuled, style parts 3
Fruit: capsule, ± spheric, 3-valved
Seeds 3, ± 3 mm, 1 surface convex
Species in genus: 45 species: North America, especially w
Etymology: (Greek: thorny plant)
Reference: [Rensselaer & McMinn 1942 Ceanothus Santa Barbara Bot Gard 1–308]
Hybridization common (named hybrids not recognized here); hybrid forms may not key adequately.


C. integerrimus Hook. & Arn.


Plant ascending-erect, < 4 m
Stem: twigs round, yellow- to pale-green, glabrous to ± strigose, not changing color
Leaves alternate, deciduous, < 8 cm; stipules deciduous; petiole < 15 mm; blade lanceolate, elliptic or ± oblong to widely ovate, 1–3-ribbed from base, thin, tip acute to obtuse, margin generally entire or minutely dentate toward tip, upper surface light green, ± glabrous to puberulent, lower paler, ± glabrous to hairy
Inflorescence ± raceme-like, < 15 cm, clusters generally stalked
Flower white or blue, rarely pink
Fruit 4–5 mm, sticky; top ± depressed; valves minutely crested
Chromosomes: 2n=24
Ecology: Dry slopes, ridges
Elevation: 300–2100 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast Ranges, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges
Distribution outside California: to Washington
Several poorly defined vars. have been recognized: var. i. (leaf blade oblong to elliptic-oblong, generally 1-ribbed from base; flower white or blue; SnFrB, SCoR); var. californicus (Kellogg) G.T. Benson (leaf blade elliptic or lanceolate to oblong-ovate, 3-ribbed from base, upper surface generally glabrous, lower glabrous or hairy; flower white; KR, NCoR, CaR, SN); var. macrothyrsus (Torr.) G.T. Benson (leaf blades oblong to ovate, generally 3-ribbed from base, generally hairy on both surfaces; flower white to blue; KR, CaRH, to WA); var. puberulus (Greene) Abrams (leaf blade elliptic or lanceolate to oblong-ovate, 3-ribbed from base, generally hairy on both surfaces; flower white; TR, PR)
Horticultural information: DRN: 4, 5, 6, 15, 16, 17 &IRR: 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21.

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