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.



Elizabeth McClintock

Shrub, tree, sometimes ± dioecious, often thorny, generally densely silvery-hairy throughout; hairs often scale-like
Leaves simple, alternate or opposite, generally deciduous, entire; petiole generally short; stipules 0
Inflorescence generally umbel-like, axillary; flowers 1–few
Flower radial; hypanthium rotate to salverform, lower part generally receptacle-like, persistent, with a disk, becoming fleshy; sepals (hypanthium lobes) generally 4, ± petal-like; petals 0; anthers 4 or 8, ± sessile; ovary superior (appearing inferior), chamber 1, style 1
Fruit: achene enclosed in fleshy hypanthium, the whole drupe- or berry-like
Genera in family: 3 genera, ± 45 species: North America, Eur, Asia, e Australia; especially temp, subtropical
Reference: [Graham 1964 J Arnold Arbor 45:274–278]


Shrub, dioecious
Leaves opposite or some alternate
Staminate flower: hypanthium rotate; stamens 8; disk lobes alternate stamens
Pistillate flower: hypanthium urn-shaped, nearly closed at top; disk lobes 8, nearly meeting above ovary; stigma cap-like
Species in genus: 3 species: North America
Etymology: (John Shepherd, 1764–1836, curator of Liverpool Botanic Garden)


S. argentea Nutt.


Plant 2–6 m, much-branched, thorny
Leaf 2–6 cm, generally oblong, more silvery on lower surface
Flower: hypanthium greenish yellow inside
Staminate flower < 2 mm, ± 4 mm wide at top; tube < lobes
Pistillate flower ± 2 mm, 1 mm wide; tube > lobes
Fruit 5 mm, elliptic in outline, red
Ecology: Along streams, river bottoms, slopes
Elevation: 1000–2000 m.
Bioregional distribution: e Klamath Ranges, c High Sierra Nevada, South Coast Ranges, Western Transverse Ranges, San Bernardino Mountains, n East of Sierra Nevada
Distribution outside California: to Canada, c US
Flowering time: Apr–May
Fr sour, made into sauce eaten with buffalo meat along Overland Trail; sometimes cultivated as ornamental
Horticultural information: SUN, DRN: 4, 5, 6, 10 &IRR: 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; STBL.

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