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Morella californica

Higher Taxonomy
Family: MyricaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Shrub, small tree, generally aromatic, evergreen or deciduous; generally monoecious or dioecious; roots generally with nitrogen-fixing bacteria; hairs generally both nonglandular, thread-like and glandular, peltate. Leaf: simple, alternate, entire to pinnately lobed, resin-dotted; stipules generally 0. Inflorescence: spike, catkin-like, axillary; staminate, pistillate separate. Flower: generally unisexual, small; perianth generally 0. Staminate Flower: subtended by 1 bract, 0 [1--4] bractlets. Pistillate Flower: subtended by 1 bract, 2 or 4--6[3(8)] bractlets; ovary superior [to +- inferior], ovule 1, style 1, stigmas 2, short. Fruit: generally drupe or nut-like, small, rough or smooth, waxy or not, sometimes winged or bur-like from fused bractlets.
Genera In Family: 4 genera, +- 45 species: generally temperate, subtropics fruit of some Morella boiled to make fragrant wax. Note: Myrica as treated in TJM (1993) split into 2 genera based on Wilbur 1994 Sida 16:93--107.
Unabridged Note: Comptonia of eastern North America, Canacomyrica of New Caledonia each have 1 sp.; Myrica has 2 species
eFlora Treatment Author: Allan J. Bornstein
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: MorellaView Description 

Habit: Shrub, small tree. Leaf: +- spicy-scented; blade unlobed, +- serrate, especially in upper 1/2. Staminate Flower: stamens generally 6--12(22).
Species In Genus: +- 40 species: Africa, eastern Asia, Philippines, Malaysia, North America, South America, temperate, subtropics.

Morella californica (Cham. & Schltdl.) Wilbur
Habit: Plant 2--10 m. Leaf: generally +- narrowly lance-elliptic; tip generally sharply acute. Staminate Flower: stamens 7--16. Fruit: few per pistillate inflorescence, 4--6.5(8) mm diam.
Ecology: Coastal dunes and scrub, closed-cone pine, redwood forest; Elevation: < 150 m near coast, < 500+ m inland. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, w KR, NCoRO, CCo, w SnFrB, SCo; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia. Flowering Time: Mar--Apr
Synonyms: Myrica californica Cham. & Schltdl.;
eFlora Treatment Author: Allan J. Bornstein
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botanical illustration including Morella californica


Citation for this treatment: Allan J. Bornstein 2012, Morella californica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 21, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on September 21, 2018.

Morella californica
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© 2008 Neal Kramer
Morella californica
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Morella californica
click for enlargement
© 2007 California Academy of Sciences
Morella californica
click for enlargement
© 2008 Neal Kramer
Morella californica
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse

More photos of Morella californica in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Morella californica:
NCo, w KR, NCoRO, CCo, w SnFrB, 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).

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, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.