Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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Grady L. Webster, except as specified

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, tree, vine, monoecious or dioecious
Stem generally branched, sometimes fleshy or spiny
Leaves generally simple, alternate or opposite, generally stipuled, petioled; blade entire, toothed, or palmately lobed
Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, raceme, spike; flowers sometimes in clusters (dense, enclosed by involucre, flower-like in Chamaesyce, Euphorbia ), terminal or axillary
Flower unisexual, ± radial; sepals generally 3–5, free or fused; petals generally 0; stamens 1–many, free or filaments fused; ovary superior, chambers 1–4, styles free or fused, simple or lobed
Fruit: generally capsule
Seeds 1–2 per chamber; seed scar appendage sometimes present, pad- to dome-like
Genera in family: 300 genera, 7500 species: ± worldwide especially tropical; some cultivated (Aleurites , tung oil; Euphorbia subsp.; Hevea , rubber; Ricinus )
Reference: [Webster 1967 J Arnold Arbor 48:303–430]
Many species ± highly TOXIC.



Species in genus: 1 sp
Etymology: (Latin: tick, from seed shape)


R. communis L.

Shrub, sometimes tree-like, 1–3 m, monoecious, ± glabrous; sap clear
Stem: trunk ascending to erect, branched above
Leaves simple, cauline, alternate, peltate; stipules fused, 1–1.5 cm, sheath-like, deciduous; petiole 1–3 dm, glandular distally; blade 1–5 dm, ± round, palmately 7–11-lobed, sharply toothed
Inflorescence: panicle, terminal, 1–3 dm; staminate flowers below pistillate flowers
Staminate flower: sepals 3–5; petals 0; stamens many, clustered; nectary 0
Pistillate flower: sepals 3–5; petals 0; ovary 3-chambered, bristly, styles 2-lobed, plumose, reddish
Fruit 1.2–2 cm diam, ± spiny
Seed 9–22 mm, smooth, shiny, mottled; scar appendaged
Chromosomes: 2n=20
Ecology: Disturbed areas, fields, roadsides
Elevation: < 300 m.
Bioregional distribution: Great Central Valley, Central Coast, South Coast, expected elsewhere
Distribution outside California: e US; native to Europe
Highly TOXIC: seeds attractive to children, fatal when ingested.

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bioregional map for RICINUS%20communis being generated
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Ricinus communis
Retrieve dichotomous key for Ricinus
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions | Get lists of plants in a bioregion
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