Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Ayenia compacta

Higher Taxonomy
Family: MalvaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to tree; generally with stellate hairs, often with bristles or peltate scales; juice generally mucilage-like; bark fibrous. Leaf: generally cauline, alternate, petioled, simple [palmate-compound], generally palmate-lobed and/or veined, generally toothed, evergreen or not; stipules persistent or not. Inflorescence: head, spike, raceme, or panicle, in panicle or not (a compound panicle), or flowers >= 1 in leaf axils, or flowers generally 1 opposite a leaf or on a spur; bracts leaf-like or not; bractlets 0 or on flowering stalks, often closely subtending calyx, generally in involucel. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; sepals 5, generally fused at base, abutting in bud, larger in fruit or not, nectaries as tufts of glandular hairs at base; petals (0)5, free from each other but generally fused at base to, falling with filament tube, clawed or not; stamens 5--many, filaments fused for most of length into tube around style, staminodes 5, alternate stamens, or generally 0; pistil 1, ovary superior, stalked or generally not, chambers generally >= 5, styles or style branches, stigmas generally 1 or 1--2 × chamber number. Fruit: loculicidal capsule, [berry], or 5--many, disk- or wedge-shaped segments (= mericarps).
Genera In Family: 266 genera, 4025 species: worldwide, especially warm regions; some cultivated (e.g., Abelmoschus okra; Alcea hollyhock; Gossypium cotton; Hibiscus hibiscus). Note: Recently treated to include Bombacaceae, Sterculiaceae, Tiliaceae. Mature fruit needed for identification; "outer edges" are surfaces between sides and back (abaxial surface) of segment. "Flower stalk" used instead of "pedicel," "peduncle," especially where both needed (i.e., when flowers both 1 in leaf axils and otherwise).
eFlora Treatment Author: Steven R. Hill, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Steven R. Hill, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: AyeniaView Description 

Habit: [Perennial herb] subshrub [shrub]; taproot stout. Stem: erect to trailing, twig hairs stellate or 0. Leaf: ovate-obovate, unlobed, serrate. Inflorescence: flowers 1(2) in leaf axils. Flower: generally < 3 mm wide; sepals +- spreading, narrowly ovate; petal claw thread-like, coiled, limb +- obcordate, incurved, parachute-like, sinus with an anther below and a stalked, gland-like appendage above; filament tube +- cup- or urn-shaped at top, surrounding ovary, with 5 short, stalked anthers bent out- and downward (each stalk inserted in sinus, thereby attached to petal), staminodes 5, < stamens; ovary (and fruit) stalked above receptacle. Fruit: capsule, chambers 1-seeded.
Species In Genus: 75--80 species: warm America. Etymology: (Louis de Noailles, 1713--1793, who was Duc d'Ayen, 1737--1766)
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston, R. David Whetstone & T.A. Atkinson
Unabridged Reference: Cristobal 1960 Opera Lilloana 4:1--230
Ayenia compacta Rose
Habit: Plant 1--4 dm, much-branched at base. Leaf: stipules small, brown. Flower: sepals +- 1.5 mm; petals 2--3 mm, claws +- 2 mm. Fruit: +- 5 mm, spheric, straw-colored, with +- cylindric, +- purple protuberances. Seed: black.
Ecology: Sandy and gravelly washes, dry canyons; Elevation: 100--1160 m. Bioregional Distribution: PR (desert slope), e&s DMoj (rare), w&c DSon; Distribution Outside California: southwestern Arizona; Baja California. Flowering Time: Mar--Apr
Synonyms: Ayenia californica Jeps.
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert E. Preston, R. David Whetstone & T.A. Atkinson
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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Botanical illustration including Ayenia compacta

botanical illustration including Ayenia compacta


Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston, R. David Whetstone & T.A. Atkinson 2012, Ayenia compacta, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 13, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 13, 2019.

Ayenia compacta
click for enlargement
© 2012 Keir Morse
Ayenia compacta
click for enlargement
© 2012 Keir Morse
Ayenia compacta
click for enlargement
© 2012 Keir Morse
Ayenia compacta
click for enlargement
© 2012 Keir Morse
Ayenia compacta
click for enlargement
© 2012 Keir Morse
Ayenia compacta
click for enlargement
© 2012 Keir Morse

More photos of Ayenia compacta in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Ayenia compacta:
PR (desert slope), e&s DMoj (rare), w&c DSon
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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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All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.