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Allotropa virgata

Higher Taxonomy
Family: EricaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, shrub, tree. Stem: bark often peeling distinctively. Leaf: simple or 0, generally cauline, alternate, opposite (whorled), evergreen or deciduous, often leathery, petioled or not; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, cyme, or flowers 1, terminal or axillary, generally bracted; pedicel often with 2 bractlets. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial, bell-shaped, cylindric, or urn-shaped; sepals generally (0)4--5, generally free; petals generally (0)4--5, free or fused; stamens (2--5)8--10, free, filaments rarely appendaged, anthers dehiscing by pores or slits, awns 0 or 2(4), seemingly abaxial, reduced or elongate, generally curved; nectary generally present at ovary base, generally disk-like; ovary superior or inferior, chambers generally 1--5, placentas axile or parietal, ovules 1--many per chamber, style 1, stigma head- to funnel-like or lobed. Fruit: capsule, drupe, berry. Seed: generally many, winged or not.
Genera In Family: +- 100 genera, 3000 species: generally worldwide except deserts; some cultivated, especially Arbutus, Arctostaphylos, Rhododendron, Vaccinium. Note: Monophyletic only if Empetraceae included, as treated here. Ledum included in Rhododendron. Non-green plants obtain nutrition from green plants through fungal intermediates.
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Gary D. Wallace, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: AllotropaView Description 

Common Name: SUGAR STICK

Species In Genus: 1 sp. Etymology: (Greek: different turned, from erect inflorescence)

Allotropa virgata Torr. & A. Gray
Habit: Perennial herb, non-green, glabrous, rhizomed, roots brittle. Stem: 0. Leaf: 0. Inflorescence: raceme-like, < 5 dm, white with red or maroon stripes, emerging from ground erect, persistent after seed dispersal; bracts < 3 cm; bractlets 0; pedicel not recurved when anthers open. Flower: sepals 0(2--4); corolla cup-shaped, white, petals 5, free, concave; stamens 10, exserted, anthers maroon, dehiscing by short separate slits; nectary lobes 10, short; ovary superior, chambers 5, placentas axile, style < 2 mm, stigma disk-like. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal, dehiscing tip to base. Seed: many per chamber, fusiform. Chromosomes: 2n=26.
Ecology: Oak, mixed, or conifer forest; Elevation: 75--3000 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaRH, SNH; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, Montana, Nevada. Flowering Time: Jun--Aug Note: Petals incorrectly considered sepals by some.
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace
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botanical illustration including Allotropa virgata


Citation for this treatment: Gary D. Wallace 2016. Allotropa virgata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 03, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 03, 2016.

Allotropa virgata
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© 2010 Keir Morse
Allotropa virgata
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© 2013 Barry Rice
Allotropa virgata
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© 2006 Steve Matson
Allotropa virgata
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© 2011 Barry Rice
Allotropa virgata
click for enlargement
© 2006 Steve Matson
Allotropa virgata
click for enlargement
© 2010 Keir Morse

More photos of Allotropa virgata in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Allotropa virgata:
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.