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Muehlenbeckia complexa

Higher Taxonomy
Family: PolygonaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to shrub [tree]. Stem: nodes swollen or not. Leaf: simple, basal or cauline, generally alternate; ocreae present or 0, generally scarious, persistent or not. Inflorescence: flower clusters in axillary to terminal cyme-, panicle-, raceme-, spike-, umbel- or head-like arrangements, entire inflorescence or main inflorescence branches generally subtended by bracts ("inflorescence bracts"); peduncles present or 0; flower clusters in Eriogoneae-Eriogonoideae subtended by involucre of >= 1 free or +- fused, sometimes awn-tipped bracts ("involucre bracts") or, in Polygonoideae and rarely in Eriogonoideae, not (if bracts completely fused, involucre "tubular"); pedicels in Eriogoneae each often subtended by 2 free, transparent, linear bractlets or in Polygonoideae all subtended by 2+ fused, membranous, wide bractlets. Flower: generally bisexual, small, 1--200 per node; perianth parts 2--6, generally in 2 whorls, free or basally fused, generally petal-like, often +- concave adaxially, often darker at midvein, often turning +- red or +- brown in age; stamens [1]3 or 6--9 in 2 whorls; ovary superior, 1-chambered, ovule 1, styles 1--3. Fruit: achenes, included in or exserted from perianth, generally 3-angled, ovoid or elliptic, generally glabrous.
Genera In Family: 48 genera, +- 1200 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate; some cultivated for food (Coccoloba, sea-grape; Fagopyrum, Rheum, Rumex) or ornamental (Antigonon, lovechain; Coccoloba; Muehlenbeckia; Persicaria; Polygonum), a few timbered (Coccoloba; Triplaris). Several (Emex; Fallopia; Persicaria; Polygonum; Rumex) are weeds. Note: Treatment of genera in Eriogonoideae based on monographic work of James L. Reveal. Involucre number throughout is number (1--many) per ultimate grouping, at tips of ultimate branches; flower number is per flower cluster or involucre, unless otherwise stated. Fagopyrum esculentum Moench not naturalized, considered an historical waif (or garden weed +- presently), therefore not treated.
eFlora Treatment Author: Mihai Costea, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: MuehlenbeckiaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Shrub, vine-like, climbing or, if support 0, forming dense, sprawling, twisted masses, rhizomed. Stem: to 10 m, slender, wiry, branches many. Leaf: cauline, alternate, petioled, +- deciduous; ocreae delicate, early-deciduous; blade linear to round or lance-triangular, +- thick, margins entire or irregularly wavy. Inflorescence: axillary, terminal, raceme- or spike-like; flowers 1--3(5); peduncles +- 0. Flower: bisexual, staminate, or pistillate (all three on 1 plant or not); perianth parts 5, fused 1/4--1/2, enlarging, fleshy in fruit, white to green-white to -yellow; stamens 8; style rudimentary, stigmas 3, much-branched. Fruit: +- included in fleshy perianth, appearing berry-like; 3-angled to +- spheric, smooth.
Species In Genus: 23 species: South America, Central America, New Zealand, Australia. Etymology: (H.G. Muehlenbeck, Alsatian physician, 1798--1845)
eFlora Treatment Author: Mihai Costea

Muehlenbeckia complexa (A. Cunn.) Meisn.
Habit: Shrub, straggling or climbing, in dense tangles. Stem: <= 5 m, wiry, +- twisted, dark-brown or +- red; distal branches +- brown-puberulent. Leaf: blade 0.5--2(4) cm, 0.5--2(4) cm wide, entire, +- glabrous, leathery, tip rounded to mucronate. Flower: 2--5 mm; perianth parts fused +- 1/2, yellow-green or +- green. Fruit: included or exserted, 3--4 mm, 3-angled, brown-black, shiny, smooth. Chromosomes: 2n=20.
Ecology: Disturbed areas, coastal bluffs, sandy and rocky places; Elevation: < 500 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, CCo; Distribution Outside California: native to New Zealand. Flowering Time: Jul--Sep Note: Cult as ornamental.
eFlora Treatment Author: Mihai Costea
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Citation for this treatment: Mihai Costea 2017. Muehlenbeckia complexa, 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 Muehlenbeckia complexa:
NCo, CCo;
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.
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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.