Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Petalonyx nitidus

Higher Taxonomy
Family: LoasaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to subshrub; hairs needle-like, barbed, occasionally stinging. Leaf: alternate [opposite], generally +- pinnate-lobed; stipules 0. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme. Flower: bisexual, radial; sepals generally 5, generally persistent; petals generally 5, free or fused to each other or filament tube; stamens 5--many, filaments thread-like to flat, occasionally fused at base or in clusters; petal-like staminodes occasionally present; pistil 1, ovary inferior, chamber generally 1, placentas generally 3, parietal, style 1. Fruit: capsule or achene. Seed: 1--many.
Genera In Family: 18+ genera, 250 species: especially America (Africa, Pacific).
eFlora Treatment Author: Larry Hufford & Barry Prigge, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: PetalonyxView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Subshrub; hairs barbed. Leaf: linear to +- round, entire to toothed; base tapered to cordate. Inflorescence: raceme, generally terminal; bracts 3 per flower, outer 1 > inner 2. Flower: sepals +- deciduous; petals free or claws adherent, fused below blades; stamens generally 5, free; ovary +- ovoid, placenta 1, stigma 1. Fruit: achene, +- ovoid, generally 5-veined or -ribbed, erect. Seed: 1, 1.5--2.5 mm, +- fusiform, generally smooth. Chromosomes: 2n=46.
Species In Genus: 5 species: southwestern United States, northwestern Mexico. Etymology: (Greek: petal claw)

Petalonyx nitidus S. Watson
Habit: Plant 15--45 cm. Leaf: 15--40 mm, generally ovate, widely tapered to base, acute to acuminate, serrate to sparsely dentate. Inflorescence: 3--4.5 cm; outer bract 5--13 mm, narrowly ovate; inner bracts 1--5 mm, elliptic to ovate, truncate, crenate; pedicels 1--2 mm. Flower: petals 5--11 mm, cream, upper 1/4 of claws adherent; stamens 7--14 mm, well exserted; style 8--15 mm.
Ecology: Sandy washes or rocky canyons, creosote-bush scrub, Joshua-tree woodland, pinyon/juniper woodland; Elevation: 725--2100 m. Bioregional Distribution: W&I, DMtns, w DMoj; Distribution Outside California: to southwestern Utah, northwestern Arizona. Flowering Time: May--Jul
eFlora Treatment Author: Larry Hufford & Barry Prigge
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botanical illustration including Petalonyx nitidus


Citation for this treatment: Larry Hufford & Barry Prigge 2016. Petalonyx nitidus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 03, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 03, 2016.

Petalonyx nitidus
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© 2012 James M. Andre
Petalonyx nitidus
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© 1997 Larry Blakely
Petalonyx nitidus
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© 2015 Steve Matson
Petalonyx nitidus
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© 2012 James M. Andre
Petalonyx nitidus
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© 2012 James M. Andre
Petalonyx nitidus
click for enlargement
© 2010 Steve Matson

More photos of Petalonyx nitidus in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Petalonyx nitidus:
W&I, DMtns, w DMoj;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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.