Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Rosa spithamea

Higher Taxonomy
Family: RosaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: ROSE FAMILY
Habit: Annual to tree, glandular or not. Leaf: simple to palmately or pinnately compound, generally alternate; stipules free to fused (0), persistent to deciduous. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, cluster, or flowers 1; bractlets on pedicel ("pedicel bractlets") generally 0--3(many), subtended by bract or generally not. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium free or fused to ovary, saucer- to funnel-shaped, subtending bractlets ("hypanthium bractlets") 0--5, alternate sepals; sepals generally 5; petals generally 5, free; stamens (0,1)5--many, anther pollen sacs generally 2; pistils (0)1--many, simple or compound, ovary superior to inferior, styles 1--5. Fruit: 1--many per flower, achene (fleshy-coated or not), follicle, drupe, or pome with generally papery core, occasionally drupe-like with 1--5 stones. Seed: generally 1--5 (per fruit, not per flower).
Genera In Family: 110 genera, +- 3000 species: worldwide, especially temperate; many cultivated for ornamental, fruit, especially Cotoneaster, Fragaria, Malus, Prunus, Pyracantha, Rosa, Rubus. Note: Number of teeth is per leaf or leaflet, not per side of leaf or leaflet, except in Drymocallis.
eFlora Treatment Author: Daniel Potter & Barbara Ertter, family description, key to genera, treatment of genera by Daniel Potter, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Daniel Potter, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: RosaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Shrub to vine, often thicket-forming, generally prickly. Leaf: generally odd-pinnately compound; stipules generally attached to petiole, generally gland-margined. Inflorescence: generally +- cyme or flowers 1; pedicel bractlets 0. Flower: hypanthium urn-shaped, bractlets 0; sepals often with long expanded tip; petals generally 5 (except cultivated), generally pink in California (white to red or yellow); stamens generally > 20; pistils generally many, ovaries superior, styles attached at tip, generally hairy. Fruit: bony achenes generally enclosed in fleshy, generally +- red hypanthium (hip).
Species In Genus: 100+ species: generally northern temperate. Etymology: (Latin: ancient name) Note: Species hybridize freely; other non-natives established locally. FNANM treatment by Lewis & Ertter uses both subspecies, varieties, the latter mostly reserved for localized variants within a subsp.; 2 vars. in Rosa woodsii subsp. gratissima treated here but not in TJM2 (2012).
eFlora Treatment Author: Barbara Ertter

Rosa spithamea S. Watson
Habit: Dwarf shrub, openly rhizomed, generally < 5 dm. Stem: prickles few to many, generally not paired, 3--8(12) mm, generally slender (thick-based), +- straight. Leaf: axis generally glabrous (finely hairy), glandular; leaflets 5--7(9), 2--4 per side, (+-) glabrous; terminal leaflet +- 10--30 mm, +- widely elliptic (obovate), widest near middle, tip obtuse to truncate, margins +- double-toothed, glandular. Inflorescence: 1--10-flowered; pedicels generally 5--15 mm, glabrous, +- stalked-glandular. Flower: hypanthium generally 4--5 mm wide at flower, stalked-glandular, neck 3--4 mm wide; sepals generally glandular, entire, tip generally +- = body, entire; petals 10--15 mm, pink to red; pistils 10--20. Fruit: 7--12(15) mm wide, +- spheric; sepals +- erect, persistent; achenes 3.5--5 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=28.
Ecology: Open forest, chaparral, especially after fire; Elevation: generally 150--1550(1950) m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CW, MP; Distribution Outside California: Oregon. Flowering Time: Apr--Aug Note: Generally blooms after fires. Plants in southern CW with larger prickles, described as Rosa granulata Greene, may be hybrids with Rosa californica; study needed.
Synonyms: Rosa spithamea var. sonomensis (Greene) Jeps.
Unabridged Note: The author has indicated that the disjunct MP site is at 1950 m.
eFlora Treatment Author: Barbara Ertter
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Previous taxon: Rosa rubiginosa
Next taxon: Rosa woodsii

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botanical illustration including Rosa spithamea


Citation for this treatment: Barbara Ertter 2017. Rosa spithamea, Revision 2, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 16, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 16, 2017.

Rosa spithamea
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© 2009 Vernon Smith
Rosa spithamea
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© 2009 Neal Kramer
Rosa spithamea
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Rosa spithamea
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Rosa spithamea
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Rosa spithamea
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer

More photos of Rosa spithamea in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Rosa spithamea:
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.