Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Dirca occidentalis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: ThymelaeaceaeView Description 
Habit: Shrub [herb, tree, vine], often ill-smelling, poisonous. Stem: erect, flexible, branched, generally with raised, woody leaf scars; bark fibrous, tear-resistant, often green and/or +- white, at least in patches, especially when young. Leaf: simple, alternate [opposite, +- whorled], pinnately veined, entire, petioled; stipules +- 0. Inflorescence: axillary cluster [umbel, spike, raceme, or flowers 1]. Flower: bisexual [not], [3]4[6]-parted; hypanthium tubular or funnel- to bell-shaped, corolla-like; calyx lobes overlapped or not, or +- 0; petals small, alternate sepals; stamens [2,4]8[many]; disk generally present; ovary superior [1/2-inferior], 1-chambered, 1-ovuled, style 1, stigma dot-like. Fruit: berry [capsule]. Seed: 1.
Genera In Family: +- 50 genera, 750 species: worldwide, especially Australia, tropical Africa; some cultivated (Daphne, Edgeworthia), weedy (Thymelaea).
eFlora Treatment Author: Lorin I. Nevling, Jr. & Kerry Barringer
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: DircaView Description 

Leaf: deciduous; broad-ovate to obovate; petioles covering buds. Inflorescence: nodding. Flower: open with or before leaves; calyx lobes short; petals minute, +- scale-like, included, forming a ring; filaments +- = style, exserted. Fruit: fleshy.
Species In Genus: 4 species: temperate North America, Mexico. Etymology: (Greek: name from mythology)
Reference: Nesom & Mayfield 1995 Sida 56:21--42
Unabridged Reference: Johnson 1994 Four Seasons 9(4):38--41; McMinn & Forderhase 1935 Madroño 3:117--120; Vogelman 1953 Asa Gray Bull II 2:77--82
Dirca occidentalis A. Gray
Stem: 1--3 m, silky-hairy in youth. Leaf: petioles 3--6 mm; blade 2--7 cm, silky-hairy, base, tip rounded. Inflorescence: 1--4 flowered. Flower: short-pedicelled; hypanthium yellow. Fruit: 8--10 mm, yellow-green, glabrous. Chromosomes: 2n=36.
Ecology: Generally north or northeast facing slopes, mixed-evergreen forest to chaparral, generally in fog belt; Elevation: 50--400 m. Bioregional Distribution: SnFrB. Flowering Time: Nov--Mar
Jepson eFlora Author: Lorin I. Nevling, Jr. & Kerry Barringer
Reference: Nesom & Mayfield 1995 Sida 56:21--42
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 Dirca occidentalis

botanical illustration including Dirca occidentalis


Citation for this treatment: Lorin I. Nevling, Jr. & Kerry Barringer 2012, Dirca occidentalis, 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.

Dirca occidentalis
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© 2016 Neal Kramer
Dirca occidentalis
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© 2009 Lech Naumovich
Dirca occidentalis
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© 2005 Janell Hillman
Dirca occidentalis
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© 2007 Aaron Schusteff
Dirca occidentalis
click for enlargement
© 2016 Aaron Schusteff
Dirca occidentalis
click for enlargement
© 2008 Neal Kramer

More photos of Dirca occidentalis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Dirca occidentalis:
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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.