Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
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Sherardia arvensis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: RubiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to tree, vine. Leaf: generally opposite (whorled), entire; stipules generally fused to stem, adjacent pairs occasionally fused, or occasionally leaf-like and appearing like whorled leaves. Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, spike, cluster, or flower 1, generally terminal and +- axillary. Flower: generally bisexual; calyx +- 4(5)-lobed, occasionally 0 (Galium, Crucianella) or 6 (Sherardia); corolla generally radial, 4(5)-lobed; stamens epipetalous, alternate corolla lobes, generally included; ovary generally inferior, chambers generally 2 or 4, style 1(2). Fruit: drupe, berry, or 2 or 4 nutlets [capsule].
Genera In Family: +- 500 genera, 6000 species: worldwide, especially tropics; many cultivated, including Coffea, coffee; Cinchona, quinine; many ornamental. Note: Diodia teres Walter doubtfully in California.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Lauramay T. Dempster, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: SherardiaView Description 

Species In Genus: 1 sp. Etymology: (Wm. Sherard, Dillenius' patron, John Ray's friend, 1659--1728)

Sherardia arvensis L.
Habit: Annual, matted. Stem: decumbent, generally many-branched at base, 7--16 cm, 4-angled. Leaf: whorls of 5--6; 4--13 mm, lanceolate or oblanceolate, margin thick, tip acute or weak-spined, stipules leaf-like. Inflorescence: head, axillary, involucred; flowers sessile, generally 2--3, generally included in involucre; involucre bracts +- free, +- = leaves, generally < peduncle. Flower: calyx lobes 6, persistent, tips +- dissected; corolla salverform, generally 4-lobed, pink or lavender; styles 2, thread-like, fused proximally. Fruit: 2 nutlets; hairs soft. Chromosomes: 2n=22.
Ecology: Pastures, disturbed areas, grassland, dry meadows, oak woodland; Elevation: 10--1160 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, NCoRO, NCoRI, CaRF, n SN, ScV, SnFrB, SCoRO, SCo; Distribution Outside California: to Idaho, Arizona, eastern United States; native to Mediterranean. Flowering Time: Mar--Jul
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Lauramay T. Dempster
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botanical illustration including Sherardia arvensis


Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Lauramay T. Dempster 2017. Sherardia arvensis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 30, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 30, 2017.

Sherardia arvensis
click for enlargement
© 2004 Carol W. Witham
Sherardia arvensis
click for enlargement
© 2004 Carol W. Witham

More photos of Sherardia arvensis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Sherardia arvensis:
NCo, NCoRO, NCoRI, CaRF, n SN, ScV, SnFrB, SCoRO, SCo;
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).

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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.