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GUNNERACEAE

GUNNERA FAMILY

Elizabeth McClintock

Perennial, often large, terrestrial or semi-aquatic, rhizomed, monoecious or dioecious
Stem ± 0
Leaves simple, generally alternate, from rhizome, often large; stipules 0 or scale-like; blades < to > petioles, ± round to reniform or ovate, generally toothed or lobed
Inflorescence: spike or panicle of spikes, terminal or from upper axils, large; flowers many, often pistillate below, staminate above, bisexual between
Flower very small; sepals generally 2 or ± 0; petals 2 or 0; stamens 1–2; ovary inferior, chamber 1, styles 2
Fruit: drupe
Genera in family: 1 genus, ± 35 species: Mex, s hemisphere; several cultivated. Sometimes included in Haloragaceae.

GUNNERA


Etymology: (J.E. Gunner, Norwegian bishop, botanist, 1718–1773)
Reference: [Osborne et al. 1991 Bioscience 41:224–234]
Blue-green algae sometimes in live rhizome, or roots, fix nitrogen for host plant.

Introduced

G. tinctoria (Molina) Mirbel


Leaf covered with stiff, fleshy prickles; blade 1–2 m, ± round, thick, rough, palmately lobed, irregularly toothed; main veins palmate, prominent, especially on lower side; petiole 1–1.5 m
Inflorescence 50–75 cm, < 10 cm wide; branches lateral, many, dense, 2–5 cm, stout
Flower: petals 2
Fruits many, red, conspicuous
Ecology: Uncommon. Disturbed, shaded, damp areas
Elevation: < 100 m.
Bioregional distribution: Central Coast (Marin, San Francisco cos.)
Distribution outside California: native to Chile
Synonyms: G. chilensis Lam

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