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Plumbago auriculata

Higher Taxonomy
Family: PlumbaginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to shrub [vine]. Leaf: simple, generally in basal rosette (cauline), entire or lobed. Inflorescence: raceme, cyme, or panicle (head-like in Armeria), generally scapose. Flower: bisexual, radial, generally small; calyx tubular, generally membranous or partly scarious, lobes 5, persistent; petals 5, +- free to +- fused, clawed, +- intertwined; stamens 5, opposite petals, occasionally epipetalous; ovary superior, generally 5-lobed or -ribbed, chamber and ovule 1, styles 5, occasionally fused. Fruit: utricle, achene, or capsule, +- enclosed in calyx.
Genera In Family: 27 genera, +- 1000 species: +- worldwide, especially Mediterranean, western and central Asia. Note: Some cultivated as ornamental (Limonium used as dried flower).
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: PlumbagoView Description 

Common Name: LEADWORT
Habit: Perennial herb to shrub. Stem: erect to prostrate or climbing. Leaf: cauline, sessile or short-petioled; blade elliptic to oblanceolate or spoon-shaped, base narrowed, margin entire, tip acute to obtuse. Inflorescence: terminal or axillary spike-like racemes or panicles; pedicels short. Flower: occasionally heterostylous; calyx with stalked, head-like glands; corolla 5-lobed, salverform; stamens included or exserted; style 1, included or exserted; stigmas 5, linear. Fruit: capsule, brown, long-beaked.
Species In Genus: 12 species: worldwide, tropics & subtropics. Etymology: (Latin, a lead-like ore, from historical use as cure for lead poisoning)
Reference: Smith 2005 FNANM 5:610--611

Plumbago auriculata Lam.
Habit: Evergreen shrub. Stem: erect to trailing or climbing, diffuse-branched, to 3+ m, glabrous or hairy on new stems. Leaf: generally sessile (short-petioled); blade 2.5--9 cm, 0.5--2.5 cm wide, base generally long-tapered (clasping). Inflorescence: 2.5--3 cm, peduncle short-soft-hairy, glands 0. Flower: heterostylous; calyx 10--13 mm, short-soft-hairy, glandular; corolla pale blue, 37--53 mm, tube 28--40 mm, lobes 10--16 mm, 6--15 mm wide; styles 3. Fruit: 8 mm. Seed: 7 mm, brown. Chromosomes: 2n=14+0--1B.
Ecology: Streambeds, canyons in coastal scrub; Elevation: < 150 m. Bioregional Distribution: SCo; Distribution Outside California: native to South Africa. Flowering Time: All year Note: Ornamental, occasional escape from cultivation.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock
Reference: Smith 2005 FNANM 5:610--611
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Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock 2012, Plumbago auriculata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 16, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 16, 2018.

Plumbago auriculata
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer
Plumbago auriculata
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer
Plumbago auriculata
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer

More photos of Plumbago auriculata in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Plumbago auriculata:
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.