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Carpenteria californica

Higher Taxonomy
Family: HydrangeaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb to small tree or vine. Stem: < 3 m, generally erect; bark generally peeling as thin sheets or narrow strips. Leaf: generally simple, opposite, deciduous or not, +- hairy; stipules 0; blade +- round to narrowly elliptic, entire or toothed. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flower 1, terminal or axillary, generally bracted. Flower: bisexual, radial, flowers on inflorescence margins occasionally sterile and enlarged; sepals 4--10, free or fused at base, spreading or erect; petals 4--7, free, +- round to narrowly elliptic; stamens 8--12 in 2 whorls or many and clustered, filament base linear or wide and flat; pistil 1, ovary superior to inferior, chambers 2--8, ovules 1--2 or many per chamber, placentas axile or parietal, styles 1--8, free or fused at base. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal or septicidal; styles persistent or not. Seed: generally many, small to minute, oblong to fusiform, winged or not.
Genera In Family: 18 genera, +- 250 species: generally temperate, subtropical northern hemisphere; some cultivated for ornamental (Carpenteria, Hydrangea, Philadelphus). Note: Philadelphaceae in TJM (1993).
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Charles F. Quibell
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: CarpenteriaView Description 

Species In Genus: 1 sp. Etymology: (William M. Carpenter, Lousiana botanist, 1811--1848)

Carpenteria californica Torr.
Habit: Shrub < 3 m. Stem: bark +- gray, peeling as thin, wide sheets. Leaf: persistent, leathery; petiole 0.5--1 cm; blade 4--10 cm, 1--2.5 cm wide, narrowly elliptic, 1-veined from base, margin generally rolled under, entire or +- toothed, green and glabrous above, pale and short-tomentose below. Inflorescence: cyme or short raceme, terminal, open; flowers 3--13; bracts < leaves, sessile. Flower: 3--6 cm wide, fragrant; sepals 5--7, 8--10 mm, generally glabrous, white-tomentose at inside tip; petals 5--8, 15--25 mm, +- round, white; stamens many, clustered, filaments linear; ovary +- superior, chambers 5--8; placentas axile, ovules many; style 1, branches 5--7, 3--6 mm; stigmas linear along style branches. Fruit: 0.6--1.2 cm wide, conical, weakly septicidal. Seed: fusiform, red-brown. Chromosomes: 2n=20.
Ecology: Streambanks, chaparral, oak woodland; Elevation: 340--1340 m. Bioregional Distribution: c&s SNF (between Kings, San Joaquin rivers, Fresno Co.). Flowering Time: May--Jul Note: Post-fire stump-sprouting, seedling establishment follows burns.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Charles F. Quibell
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Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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botanical illustration including Carpenteria californica


Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Charles F. Quibell 2016. Carpenteria californica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 01, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 01, 2016.

Carpenteria californica
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© 1998 Christopher L. Christie
Carpenteria californica
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© 2007 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Carpenteria californica
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© 2005 Aaron Schusteff
Carpenteria californica
click for enlargement
© 2007 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Carpenteria californica
click for enlargement
© 2005 Aaron Schusteff

More photos of Carpenteria californica in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Carpenteria californica:
c&s SNF (between Kings, San Joaquin rivers, Fresno Co.).
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.