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Pholisma arenarium

Higher Taxonomy
Family: BoraginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to shrub or small tree, or non-green root parasite, often bristly or sharp-hairy. Stem: prostrate to erect. Leaf: basal and/or cauline, generally simple, generally alternate. Inflorescence: generally cymes, or panicle-, raceme-, head-, or spike-like, generally coiled in flower (often described as scorpioid), generally elongating in fruit, or flowers 1--2 per axil. Flower: bisexual, generally radial; sepals (4)5(10), fused at least at base, or free; corolla (4)5(10)-lobed, salverform, funnel-shaped, rotate, or bell-shaped, generally without scales at tube base, with 0 or 5 appendages at tube top, alternate stamens; stamens epipetalous; ovary generally superior, entire to 4-lobed, style 1(2), entire or 2-lobed or -branched. Fruit: valvate or circumscissile capsule or nutlets 1--4, free (fused), smooth to roughened, prickly or bristly or not.
Genera In Family: +- 120 genera, +- 2300 species: tropics, temperate, especially western North America, Mediterranean; some cultivated (Borago, Heliotropium, Echium, Myosotis, Nemophila, Phacelia, Symphytum, Wigandia). Toxicity: Many genera may be TOXIC from pyrrolizidine alkaloids or accumulated nitrates. Note: Recently treated to include Hydrophyllaceae, Lennoaceae. Wigandia urens added, as naturalized.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald B. Kelley, Robert Patterson, Richard R. Halse & Timothy C. Messick, family description, key to genera, treatment of genera by Ronald B. Kelley, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Ronald B. Kelley, Robert Patterson, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin, David J. Keil.
Genus: PholismaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, non-green, parasitic. Stem: < 1.5 m. Leaf: 5--25 mm, linear to triangular, glandular. Flower: 7--10 mm; ovary chambers 10--32. Fruit: capsule, +- circumscissile below middle.
Species In Genus: 3 species: southern California, western Arizona, northwestern Mexico. Etymology: (Greek: scale, from scaly stem)
eFlora Treatment Author: George Yatskievych

Pholisma arenarium Nutt. ex Hook.
Stem: 3--8 dm, 1--2 cm diam. Flower: calyx lobes linear to spoon-shaped; corolla lavender to blue-purple, abaxially puberulent, margin white; ovary chambers 10--20. Chromosomes: 2n=36.
Ecology: Uncommon. Sandy soil, coastal dunes, chaparral, desert; Elevation: < 1900 m. Bioregional Distribution: CCo, SCo, PR, D; Distribution Outside California: western Arizona, northwestern Mexico. Flowering Time: Apr--Jul, Oct Note: Parasitic on Croton, Eriodictyon, various shrubby Asteraceae.
Jepson eFlora Author: George Yatskievych
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botanical illustration including Pholisma arenarium


Citation for this treatment: George Yatskievych 2012, Pholisma arenarium, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 10, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 10, 2018.

Pholisma arenarium
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© 2014 Neal Kramer
Pholisma arenarium
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© 2010 Aaron E. Sims
Pholisma arenarium
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© 2012 Neal Kramer
Pholisma arenarium
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© 2006 James M. Andre
Pholisma arenarium
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© 2018 Neal Kramer
Pholisma arenarium
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© 2011 Chris Winchell

More photos of Pholisma arenarium in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Pholisma arenarium:
CCo, SCo, 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).

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, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.