Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Aralia californica

Higher Taxonomy
Family: AraliaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, shrub, tree, woody vine; juvenile, flower plants generally unlike. Stem: generally branched. Leaf: simple or compound, generally alternate; stipules +- fused to +- sheathing, petiole base or 0. Inflorescence: umbels 1 to panicled; bracts deciduous or not. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial, generally < 5 mm; sepals generally 5, fused at base, inconspicuous, persistent; petals generally 5, free, +- white to green, deciduous; stamens generally 5, generally alternate petals; ovary inferior, chambers 1--15, 1-ovuled, styles as many as chambers, free or fused, persistent. Fruit: berry or drupe, occasionally flat, dry.
Genera In Family: 47 genera, 1350 species: especially tropics, subtropics medicinal (e.g., Panax, ginseng; Aralia, sarsaparilla), ornamental (e.g., Aralia, Fatsia, Hedera, Polyscias).
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: AraliaView Description 

Common Name: SPIKENARD
Stem: erect. Leaf: 1--3-pinnate, deciduous; stipule +- fused to petiole base. Inflorescence: umbels in clusters of 2--few or in spreading panicles. Fruit: berry. Seed: 3--5.
Species In Genus: +- 30 species: North America, Asia, Malaysia. Etymology: (Latinized from old French Canadian, Aralie)

Aralia californica S. Watson
Habit: Perennial herb; roots large; sap milky. Stem: 2--3 m, stout. Leaf: 1--3-pinnate, 1--2 m, +- glabrous; petiole < 3 dm; leaflets 15--30 cm, ovate to oblong, serrate, base +- cordate. Inflorescence: 30--45 cm. Fruit: +- 5 mm, spheric, black. Chromosomes: 2n=48.
Ecology: Moist shade, canyons, stream sides; Elevation: < 2500 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoR, CaRH, n SN, SnFrB, SCoR, TR, PR; Distribution Outside California: Oregon. Flowering Time: Jun--Aug
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock
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botanical illustration including Aralia californica


Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock 2017. Aralia californica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 25, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 25, 2017.

Geographic subdivisions for Aralia californica:
KR, NCoR, CaRH, n SN, SnFrB, SCoR, TR, PR;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
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.