Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Justicia californica

Higher Taxonomy
Family: AcanthaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: [Annual, perennial herb to] shrub, [tree], nodes generally swollen. Leaf: simple, generally opposite, entire (toothed [lobed]); stipules 0. Inflorescence: variable, with bracts, generally also bractlets. Flower: bisexual; calyx deeply (3)4--5 lobed [(sepals free)]; corolla 4--5 lobed, radial to 2-lipped; stamens 2 or 4, epipetalous, anther sacs sometimes dissimilar in size or placement; ovary superior, 4--many-ovuled, chambers 1--2, placentas axile (free central), stigmas 1--2. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal, generally dehiscing explosively, valves 2. Seed: 1--4[+], each generally subtended by hook-like outgrowth that remains in fruit.
Genera In Family: 220 genera, 4000 species: especially tropics; some ornamental: Justicia (Beloperone, shrimp-plant), Acanthus, Thunbergia.
eFlora Treatment Author: Thomas F. Daniel, Margriet Wetherwax & Lawrence R. Heckard, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: JusticiaView Description 

Habit: [Annual, perennial herb] shrub. Inflorescence: generally raceme [variable]. Flower: corolla 2-lipped, tube generally >= lips, wider upward, upper lip notched or 2-lobed, lower 3-lobed; stamens 2, generally appressed to upper lip, anther sacs unequally placed on filament, opening toward lower lip, lower sac spurred. Fruit: club-shaped; stalk +- flat. Seed: 4, outlined on fruit surface [or not].
Species In Genus: 400 species: tropics, subtropics. Etymology: (James Justice, Scottish horticulturist, 1698--1763)

Justicia californica (Benth.) D.N. Gibson
Stem: < 2 m, generally leafless in flower, canescent. Leaf: blade 1--6 cm, ovate, triangular, or +- round, puberulent; petiole < 20 mm. Inflorescence: bracts < 1 cm, lance-elliptic, falling early; bractlets 2--5 mm, narrow-tapered. Flower: calyx 5--8 mm, lobes 5, lanceolate; corolla 2--4 cm, puberulent, dull scarlet (yellow), lips 1--2 cm, < tube, lobes of lower 1--4 mm. Fruit: 1.5--2 cm, canescent. Seed: 2.5--3.5 mm, +- round, mottled. Chromosomes: 2n=28.
Ecology: Dry sandy or rocky soils, especially washes; Elevation: < 950 m. Bioregional Distribution: e PR, D; Distribution Outside California: Arizona, northwestern Mexico. Flowering Time: Mar--Jun
Synonyms: Beloperone californica Benth.
eFlora Treatment Author: Thomas F. Daniel, Margriet Wetherwax & Lawrence R. Heckard
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botanical illustration including Justicia californica


Citation for this treatment: Thomas F. Daniel, Margriet Wetherwax & Lawrence R. Heckard 2017. Justicia californica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 24, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 24, 2017.

Justicia californica
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© 2012 Gary A. Monroe
Justicia californica
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© 2013 California Academy of Sciences
Justicia californica
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© 2008 Christopher L. Christie
Justicia californica
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© 2012 Keir Morse
Justicia californica
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© 2003 Michael Charters
Justicia californica
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© 2017 Julie Kierstead Nelson

More photos of Justicia californica in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Justicia californica:
e PR, D;
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.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.