Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon
Colubrina californica

Higher Taxonomy
Family: RhamnaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: [Perennial herb] shrub, tree, generally erect, often thorny. Leaf: simple, generally alternate, often clustered on short-shoots; stipules generally present, occasionally modified into spines; generally petioled; blade pinnate-veined or 1--5-ribbed from base. Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, umbel, or flowers 1 or clustered in axils or on short-shoots. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium subtending, surrounding, or partly fused to ovary; sepals 4--5; petals 0, 4--5, generally clawed; stamens 0, 4--5, alternate sepals, attached to hypanthium top, each generally fitting into a petal concavity; disk (0 or) between stamens, ovary, thin to fleshy, entire or lobed, free from ovary, adherent or fused to hypanthium; ovary superior or +- inferior, chambers [1]2--4, 1--2-ovuled, style 1, stigma entire or 2--3-lobed. Fruit: capsule, drupe.
Genera In Family: 50--52 genera, 950 species: especially tropics, subtropics some cultivated (Ceanothus; Frangula; Rhamnus; Ziziphus).
eFlora Treatment Author: John O. Sawyer, Jr., except as noted
Scientific Editor: Steve Boyd, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: ColubrinaView Description 

Habit: Shrub. Stem: branches dense, alternate, rigid, +- white; twigs spreading, not jointed at base, thorn-tipped [or not], generally hairy. Leaf: clustered on short-shoots or not, deciduous [or not]; stipules deciduous; blade entire, 3--5-ribbed from base, generally with round, marginal glands. Inflorescence: umbel-like, few-flowered. Flower: hypanthium hemispheric, adhering to developing fruit; sepals 5; petals 5, = sepals, oblanceolate; stamens 5; disk fleshy, adhering to, +- filling hypanthium; ovary chambers 3, 1-ovuled, stigma 3-lobed. Fruit: capsule, shallow-3-valved, explosively dehiscent (drupe-like, indehiscent).
Species In Genus: 31 species: warm places worldwide. Etymology: (Latin: from French for serpent tree)

Colubrina californica I.M. Johnst.
Habit: Plant < 3 m. Stem: straight, tomentose. Leaf: blade 12--35 mm, oblong to obovate, dull gray-green, hairs silky, denser abaxially, base rounded or wedge-shaped, tip rounded to +- notched, mucronate or not. Inflorescence: 5--10 mm, 3--12-flowered, dense; pedicel 1--2 mm, 2--4 mm in fruit. Flower: appearing after rain; hypanthium +- 3 mm wide. Fruit: 8--10 mm, persisting 3--6 months.
Ecology: Desert scrub; Elevation: 240--920 m. Bioregional Distribution: s DMoj, DSon; Distribution Outside California: Arizona, Mexico. Flowering Time: Apr--May
eFlora Treatment Author: John O. Sawyer, Jr.
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Colubrina
Next taxon: Condalia

Name Search
botanical illustration including Colubrina californica


Citation for this treatment: John O. Sawyer, Jr. 2017. Colubrina californica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 29, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 29, 2017.

Geographic subdivisions for Colubrina californica:
s DMoj, DSon;
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).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

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