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Vascular Plants of California
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Gayophytum humile

Higher Taxonomy
Family: OnagraceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to perennial herb (to tree). Leaf: cauline or basal, alternate, opposite, or whorled, generally simple and toothed (to pinnately compound); stipules 0 or generally deciduous. Inflorescence: spike, raceme, panicle, or flowers 1 in axils; bracted. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial, often opening at either dawn or dusk; hypanthium generally prolonged beyond ovary (measured from ovary tip to sepal base); sepals 4(2--7); petals 4(2--7, rarely 0), often fading darker; stamens 2 × or = sepals in number, anthers 2-chambered, opening lengthwise, pollen interconnected by threads; ovary inferior, chambers generally as many as sepals (sometimes becoming 1), placentas axile or parietal, ovules 1--many per chamber, style 1, stigma 4-lobed (or lobes as many as sepals), club-shaped, spheric, or hemispheric. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal (sometimes berry or indehiscent and nut-like). Seed: sometimes winged or hair-tufted.
Genera In Family: 22 genera, +- 657 species: worldwide, especially western North America; many cultivated (Clarkia, Epilobium, Fuchsia, Oenothera). Note: Gaura moved to Oenothera. Fuchsia magellanica Lam. naturalized in northern California.
eFlora Treatment Author: Warren L. Wagner & Peter C. Hoch, family description, key to genera, treatment of genera by Warren L. Wagner, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Robert Patterson, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: GayophytumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual. Stem: generally erect, < 1 m, slender; hairs 0 to dense, rarely glandular. Leaf: cauline, alternate (or +- opposite near base), petioled or not, narrow-lanceolate, entire. Inflorescence: flowers axillary, pedicelled or not, opening at dawn. Flower: hypanthium inconspicuous; sepals 4, staying fused in 2s or all coming free; petals 4, 0.5--8 mm, white, with 1--2 yellow or +- green spots at base, fading pink or red; stamens 8, those opposite sepals longer, pollen +- yellow; ovary chambers 2, stigma generally not exserted beyond anthers, generally touching them, generally +- spheric. Fruit: capsule, +- cylindric or flat; valves 4, generally all coming free, generally equal. Seed: few to many, generally all maturing, generally appressed to septum, alternate or +- opposite between chambers, in each chamber generally in 1 row and generally not overlapped, 0.5--2.3 mm, ovoid, glabrous or hairy, brown or gray mottled with brown; appendages 0.
Species In Genus: +- 9 species: western North America, 2 South America. Etymology: (C. Gay, French author of Flora of Chile, 1800--1873) Note: Self-fertile; taxa with petals < 3 mm self-pollinated.
eFlora Treatment Author: Harlan Lewis
Unabridged Reference: Lewis & Szweykowski 1964 Brittonia 16:343--391
Gayophytum humile A. Juss.
Habit: Herbage generally glabrous. Stem: < 30 cm; branches 0 or generally only proximal, not forked, tips +- glandular-puberulent or not. Leaf: 1--2.5 cm, little reduced distally. Inflorescence: 1st flower 1--3 nodes distal to base. Flower: petals 0.8--1.5 mm; larger stamens +- 0.7 mm; ovary glabrous or glandular-puberulent. Fruit: 8--17 mm, sessile, +- like leaves, flat, grooved along midline, slightly to very knobby; lateral 2 valves staying attached, wider. Seed: 24--50, ascending, +- opposite, glabrous. Chromosomes: 2n=14.
Ecology: Drying margins of wet sites, snowbeds; Elevation: 750--3200 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaR, SN, SCoR, PR, TR, Wrn; Distribution Outside California: +- western United States; South America. Flowering Time: May--Sep
Synonyms: Gayophytum nuttallii Torr. & A. Gray
Jepson eFlora Author: Harlan Lewis
Unabridged Reference: Lewis & Szweykowski 1964 Brittonia 16:343--391
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Botanical illustration including Gayophytum humile

botanical illustration including Gayophytum humile


Citation for this treatment: Harlan Lewis 2012, Gayophytum humile, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on March 22, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on March 22, 2019.

Gayophytum humile
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© 2005 Steve Matson
Gayophytum humile
click for enlargement
© 2005 Steve Matson
Gayophytum humile
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© 2005 Steve Matson
Gayophytum humile
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© 2005 Steve Matson
Gayophytum humile
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© 2012 Barry Breckling
Gayophytum humile
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© 2000 Gary A. Monroe

More photos of Gayophytum humile in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Gayophytum humile:
NW, CaR, SN, SCoR, PR, TR, Wrn;
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.