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Dithyrea californica

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to shrub; sap pungent, watery. Leaf: generally simple, alternate; generally both basal, cauline; stipules 0. Inflorescence: generally raceme, generally not bracted. Flower: bisexual, generally radial; sepals 4, generally free; petals (0)4, forming a cross, generally white or yellow to purple; stamens generally 6 (2 or 4), 4 long, 2 short (3 pairs of unequal length); ovary 1, superior, generally 2-chambered with septum connecting 2 parietal placentas; style 1, stigma entire or 2-lobed. Fruit: capsule, generally 2-valved, "silique" (length >= 3 × width) or "silicle" (length < 3 × width), dehiscent by 2 valves or indehiscent, cylindric or flat parallel or perpendicular to septum, segmented or not. Seed: 1--many, in 1 or 2 rows per chamber, winged or wingless; embryo strongly curved.
Genera In Family: +- 330 genera, 3780 species: worldwide, especially temperate. Note: Highest diversity in Mediterranean area, mountains of southwestern Asia, adjacent central Asia, western North America; some Brassica species are oil or vegetable crops; Arabidopsis thaliana used in experimental molecular biology; many species are ornamentals, weeds. Aurinia saxatilis (L.) Desvaux in cultivation only. Aubrieta occasional waif in central NCoR, Carrichtera annua (L.) DC. in SCo, Iberis sempervirens L., Iberis umbellata L. in PR, Teesdalia coronopifolia (Bergeret) Thell., Teesdalia nudicaulis (L.) W.T. Aiton in southern NCoRO, CCo. Cardaria, Coronopus moved to Lepidium; Caulostramina to Hesperidanthus; Guillenia to Caulanthus; Heterodraba to Athysanus; California taxa of Lesquerella to Physaria; Malcolmia africana to Strigosella.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: DithyreaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb; hairs dense, stalked, stellate, occasionally simple. Leaf: basal rosetted, entire to dentate or pinnately lobed; cauline petioled or sessile, base not lobed. Inflorescence: elongated or not. Flower: sepals erect, forming a tube, linear to narrowly oblong, lateral pair base sac-like; petals tongue-shaped, long-clawed, white to lavender. Fruit: silicle, indehiscent, flattened perpendicular to septum, spectacle-shaped, splitting into 1-seeded halves, not segmented; valves keeled, enclosing seeds; stigma entire. Seed: 2, oblong, wing 0.
Species In Genus: 2 species: California, Mexico. Etymology: (Greek: 2 shields, reference to spectacle-shaped fruit)
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Reference: Rollins 1979 Publ Bussey Inst Harvard 3--32

Dithyrea californica Harv.
Habit: Plant densely hairy. Stem: several from base, branched distally, (0.7)1--6(7) dm. Leaf: basal 2--11 cm, oblanceolate to widely ovate, dentate to shallowly lobed; cauline similar, smaller, entire to dentate. Flower: sepals (6)7--9(10) mm; petals (1)1.2--1.5 cm, (1.5)2--3 mm wide, white to pale lavender. Fruit: style 0.1--0.5(1) mm; pedicel spreading, 1.5--2.5 mm. Seed: 2, 3--4 mm, oblong. Chromosomes: 2n=20.
Ecology: Abundant in sandy places, washes, scrub; Elevation: 50--1400 m. Bioregional Distribution: D; Distribution Outside California: Nevada, western Arizona, northwestern Mexico. Flowering Time: Mar--May
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
Reference: Rollins 1979 Publ Bussey Inst Harvard 3--32
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botanical illustration including Dithyrea californica


Citation for this treatment: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz 2012, Dithyrea californica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 17, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 17, 2018.

Dithyrea californica
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© 2005 Dieter Wilken
Dithyrea californica
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© 2004 James M. Andre
Dithyrea californica
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© 2015 Keir Morse
Dithyrea californica
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© 2015 Keir Morse
Dithyrea californica
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© 2010 Steve Matson
Dithyrea californica
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© 2009 Thomas Stoughton

More photos of Dithyrea californica in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Dithyrea californica:
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, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.