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Tonella tenella

Higher Taxonomy
Family: PlantaginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to shrub, some aquatic. Leaf: basal or cauline, alternate or opposite (whorled), simple, entire to dentate or lobed, venation generally pinnate; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, spike, or flowers axillary in 1--few-flowered clusters; flowers few to many, each subtended by 1 bract. Flower: unisexual or bisexual, radial or bilateral; sepals 4--5, generally fused at base; corolla 4--5-lobed, scarious or not, persistent or not, generally 2-lipped, upper lip generally 2-lobed, lower generally 3-lobed, spur present or not, tube sac-like at base or not; stamens 2 or 4, alternate corolla lobes, epipetalous, staminode 0 or 1--2, anthers opening by 2 slits; ovary superior, [1]2--4-chambered, style 1, stigma lobes 0 or 2. Fruit: generally a capsule, septicidal, loculicidal, circumscissile, or dehiscing by terminal slits or pores.
Genera In Family: 110 genera, +- 2000 species: worldwide, especially temperate. Note: Veronicaceae sensu Olmstead et al. Recently treated to include Callitrichaceae, Hippuridaceae, and most non-parasitic California genera of Scrophulariaceae (except Buddleja, Limosella, Mimulus, Myoporum, Scrophularia, Verbascum). California Maurandya moved to Holmgrenanthe and Maurandella. Limnophila ×ludoviciana Thieret an occasional agricultural weed in rice fields. Hebe ×franciscana (Eastw.) Souster, Hebe speciosa (R. Cunn.) Andersen only cultivated.
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Robert Patterson, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: TonellaView Description 

Habit: Annual. Stem: erect, slender, branched. Leaf: opposite, entire to 3-lobed. Inflorescence: raceme, bracted. Flower: calyx well developed, deeply 5-lobed; corolla 2-lipped, upper lip 2-lobed, lower lip 3-lobed (middle lobe wider than lateral); stamens 4, equal, exserted, filaments hairy; stigmas fused. Fruit: loculicidal, spheric to ovoid. Seed: large, wingless.
Species In Genus: 2 species: North America. Etymology: (Derivation unknown)
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael S. Park, Elizabeth Chase Neese & Margriet Wetherwax

Tonella tenella (Benth.) A. Heller
Stem: ascending, 5--30 cm. Leaf: 10--15 mm; adaxial face soft-shaggy-hairy; proximal leaves petioled, ovate to round, becoming sessile distally on stem, entire to deeply 3-lobed or ternate. Inflorescence: minutely glandular-hairy distally; bracts lanceolate, subtending 1--3 flowers; pedicels 8--15 mm. Flower: calyx < 3 mm, lobes < 2 mm, tips acute to obtuse, minutely ciliate; corolla 2--2.5 mm, upper lobes < lower, white proximally, blue or violet distally, often with purple spots. Fruit: 2--2.5 mm. Seed: 1 per chamber, < 1.5 mm.
Ecology: Moist, shaded places in chaparral, oak and mixed woodland; Elevation: < 1600 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoR, CaR, n SNH, SnFrB; Distribution Outside California: to Washington. Flowering Time: Mar--Jun
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael S. Park, Elizabeth Chase Neese & Margriet Wetherwax
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botanical illustration including Tonella tenella


Citation for this treatment: Michael S. Park, Elizabeth Chase Neese & Margriet Wetherwax 2016. Tonella tenella, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 30, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 30, 2016.

Tonella tenella
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© 1998 John Game
Tonella tenella
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© 2008 Steve Matson
Tonella tenella
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Tonella tenella
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© 2008 Steve Matson
Tonella tenella
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© 2011 Aaron Schusteff
Tonella tenella
click for enlargement
© 2008 Steve Matson

More photos of Tonella tenella in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Tonella tenella:
KR, NCoR, CaR, n SNH, SnFrB;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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.