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Trianthema portulacastrum

Higher Taxonomy
Family: AizoaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, shrub, generally fleshy. Stem: underground to erect; root fibrous or tuberous. Leaf: generally simple, entire, flat, cylindric, 3-angled, or scale-like, generally cauline, generally opposite; stipules generally 0; blade papillate, pubescent, or generally glabrous, often glaucous. Inflorescence: cyme or 1-flowered, generally terminal. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium present; sepals (3)5(8), often unequal; petals 0 or many in several whorls, free or fused at base, linear; stamens 1--many, free or fused in groups, outer often petal-like; nectary a ring or separate glands; pistil 1, ovary superior to inferior, chambers 1--20, placentas generally parietal, styles 0--20. Fruit: berry, nut, or generally capsule, opening by flaps or circumscissile. Seed: 1--many per chamber, generally ovoid, arilled or not.
Genera In Family: 130 genera, 2500 species: generally subtropics, especially southern Africa; many cultivated. Note: Galenia pubescens (Eckl. & Zeyh.) Druce, a waif, may be naturalizing in southern California.
Unabridged Note: Disphyma crassifolium (L.) L. Bolus (ovary glands convex, minute-crenate; stigmas dense-plumose; fruit chambers 5; seeds ovate, +- smooth), of tribe Ruschieae, an historical waif in California; Lampranthus coccineus (Haw.) N.E. Br.: (ovary glands fused; fruit chambers 5; seeds pear-shaped, +- black, rough), of Ruschieae, an historical waif or urban weed in California.
eFlora Treatment Author: Nancy J. Vivrette, John Bleck & Wayne R. Ferren, Jr., family description, key to genera
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: TrianthemaView Description 

Habit: Annual [perennial herb, shrub], branched from base, glabrous, hairy, or papillate, +- fleshy. Stem: generally prostrate. Leaf: +- opposite, 2 of pair unequal; stipules papery; blade linear to round, base tapered, margin entire. Inflorescence: generally 1-flowered; bracts 2. Flower: sepals 5, with abaxial mucro just below tip; petals 0; stamens 5--10[20]; ovary superior, chambers 1--2, ovules 1--few, placentas basal, styles 1--2. Fruit: capsule, papery or leathery, circumscissile; lid winged. Seed: reniform, rough, arilled.
Species In Genus: 20 species: tropics, subtropics, especially Australia. Etymology: (Greek: 3-flowered)
eFlora Treatment Author: Wayne R. Ferren, Jr.

Trianthema portulacastrum L.
Stem: < 10 dm, in youth with lines of hairs below petioles. Leaf: stipules widened, occasionally +- toothed at base; blade < 4 cm, smaller on twigs, generally = petiole, elliptic to +- round, base tapered, tip often notched. Inflorescence: flower sessile, +- covered by stipule. Flower: sepals 3--5, +- 2.5 mm, lanceolate, +- purple adaxially; ovary chamber 1, stigmas 2. Fruit: 4--5 mm, cylindric, +- curved; wings of lid 2, prominent, erect. Seed: 1.5--2 mm, ridged, red-brown to black.
Ecology: Uncommon. Moist or seasonally dry wetlands, disturbed areas; Elevation: < 1000 m. Bioregional Distribution: SnJV, D; Distribution Outside California: to Texas, eastern North America, South America; tropics Old World. Flowering Time: Jun--Nov
Synonyms: Sesuvium portulacastrum (L.) L.
eFlora Treatment Author: Wayne R. Ferren, Jr.
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botanical illustration including Trianthema portulacastrum


Citation for this treatment: Wayne R. Ferren, Jr. 2016. Trianthema portulacastrum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 13, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 13, 2016.

Trianthema portulacastrum
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© 2009 Neal Kramer
Trianthema portulacastrum
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© 2005 James M. Andre
Trianthema portulacastrum
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Trianthema portulacastrum
click for enlargement
© 2012 Neal Kramer
Trianthema portulacastrum
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Trianthema portulacastrum
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer

More photos of Trianthema portulacastrum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Trianthema portulacastrum:
SnJV, D;
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.