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Smelowskia ovalis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Brassicaceae (Cruciferae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to shrub; sap pungent, watery. Leaf: generally simple, alternate; generally both basal, cauline; stipules 0. Inflorescence: generally raceme, generally not bracted. Flower: bisexual, generally radial; sepals 4, generally free; petals (0)4, forming a cross, generally white or yellow to purple; stamens generally 6 (2 or 4), 4 long, 2 short (3 pairs of unequal length); ovary 1, superior, generally 2-chambered with septum connecting 2 parietal placentas; style 1, stigma entire or 2-lobed. Fruit: capsule, generally 2-valved, "silique" (length >= 3 × width) or "silicle" (length < 3 × width), dehiscent by 2 valves or indehiscent, cylindric or flat parallel or perpendicular to septum, segmented or not. Seed: 1--many, in 1 or 2 rows per chamber, winged or wingless; embryo strongly curved.
Genera In Family: +- 330 genera, 3780 species: worldwide, especially temperate. Note: Highest diversity in Mediterranean area, mountains of southwestern Asia, adjacent central Asia, western North America; some Brassica species are oil or vegetable crops; Arabidopsis thaliana used in experimental molecular biology; many species are ornamentals, weeds. Aurinia saxatilis (L.) Desvaux in cultivation only. Aubrieta occasional waif in central NCoR, Carrichtera annua (L.) DC. in SCo, Iberis sempervirens L., Iberis umbellata L. in PR, Teesdalia coronopifolia (Bergeret) Thell., Teesdalia nudicaulis (L.) W.T. Aiton in southern NCoRO, CCo. Cardaria, Coronopus moved to Lepidium; Caulostramina to Hesperidanthus; Guillenia to Caulanthus; Heterodraba to Athysanus; California taxa of Lesquerella to Physaria; Malcolmia africana to Strigosella.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: SmelowskiaView Description 

Habit: [Annual] perennial herb; generally cespitose, caudex branched; hairs many-branched, tree-like, occasionally mixed with simple and stalked-forked hairs. Leaf: basal rosetted, 1- or 2-pinnately lobed or divided (entire); cauline petioled or sessile, base not lobed. Inflorescence: elongated or not; bracts 0 (present). Flower: sepal ascending to spreading, base not sac-like; petals spoon-shaped to obovate, white to pink or purple (yellow). Fruit: dehiscent, cylindric to 4-angled or flat parallel or perpendicular to septum, unsegmented; stigma entire or +- 2-lobed. Seed: 4--30, in 1 row, wingless.
Species In Genus: 27 species: western North America, e¢ral Asia. Etymology: (T. Smielowsky, Russian botanist, 1769--1815)
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz

Smelowskia ovalis M.E. Jones
Habit: Plant deep-rooted; caudex several-branched. Stem: several to many from caudex, 0.3--1.8 dm, simple or branched distally, densely hairy, hairs simple, mixed with smaller, many-branched ones. Leaf: basal 0.5--2.5 cm, pinnately divided, obovate to ovate or oblong in outline; ultimate segments 2--10 mm, obovate or oblong; cauline short-petioled to sessile, reduced distally on stem. Flower: sepals 2--2.5 mm, persistent; petals 3.5--4.5 mm, 1.5--2.5 mm wide, white or pink. Fruit: 2--6 mm, 2--3 mm wide, ovoid to +- oblong, cylindric, +- appressed, glabrous; style 0.2--1 mm; pedicel erect to ascending, 3--10 mm. Seed: 4--8, oblong, 1--1.5 mm.
Ecology: Loose talus, mica schist, moraines, rock crevices; Elevation: 1500--3350 m. Bioregional Distribution: CaRH (Lassen Peak); Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia. Flowering Time: Jul--Aug
Synonyms: Smelowskia ovalis var. congesta Rollins
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
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Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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botanical illustration including Smelowskia ovalis


Citation for this treatment: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz 2017. Smelowskia ovalis, 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.

Geographic subdivisions for Smelowskia ovalis:
CaRH (Lassen Peak);
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.