Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Pityopus californicus

Higher Taxonomy
Family: EricaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Perennial herb, shrub, tree. Stem: bark often peeling distinctively. Leaf: simple or 0, generally cauline, alternate, opposite (whorled), evergreen or deciduous, often leathery, petioled or not; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, cyme, or flowers 1, terminal or axillary, generally bracted; pedicel often with 2 bractlets. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial, bell-shaped, cylindric, or urn-shaped; sepals generally (0)4--5, generally free; petals generally (0)4--5, free or fused; stamens (2--5)8--10, free, filaments rarely appendaged, anthers dehiscing by pores or slits, awns 0 or 2(4), seemingly abaxial, reduced or elongate, generally curved; nectary generally present at ovary base, generally disk-like; ovary superior or inferior, chambers generally 1--5, placentas axile or parietal, ovules 1--many per chamber, style 1, stigma head- to funnel-like or lobed. Fruit: capsule, drupe, berry. Seed: generally many, winged or not.
Genera In Family: +- 100 genera, 3000 species: generally worldwide except deserts; some cultivated, especially Arbutus, Arctostaphylos, Rhododendron, Vaccinium. Note: Monophyletic only if Empetraceae included, as treated here. Ledum included in Rhododendron. Non-green plants obtain nutrition from green plants through fungal intermediates.
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Gary D. Wallace, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: PityopusView Description 

Species In Genus: 1 sp. Etymology: (Greek: pine foot, from habitat)
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace
Pityopus californicus (Eastw.) H.F. Copel.
Habit: Perennial herb, non-green, fleshy; roots brittle. Stem: 0. Leaf: 0. Inflorescence: raceme or flowers 1, 1--10 cm, cream to +- yellow, emerging from ground erect, not persistent after seed dispersal, bracted; bractlets 0. Flower: sepals 4(5), free, lateral 2 often folded, clasping corolla, others flat against corolla; corolla cylindric, outside +- glabrous, inside densely hairy, petals 4(5), free, cream to +- yellow; stamens generally 8, anthers erect, horseshoe-shaped, dehiscing by 1 unified slit, unawned; nectary lobes 8--10, among stamen bases; ovary superior, chamber 1 or appearing > 1 by intrusion of parietal placentas, style < 5 mm, stigma < 5 mm wide, +- funnel-shaped, +- yellow, subtended by ring of hairs. Fruit: berry, < 1 cm. Seed: many, ovate.
Ecology: Mixed or conifer forest; Elevation: < 1800 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, KR, NCoRO, s SNH, CCo, SnFrB; Distribution Outside California: to Washington. Flowering Time: May--Jul
Jepson eFlora Author: Gary D. Wallace
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Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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Botanical illustration including Pityopus californicus

botanical illustration including Pityopus californicus


Citation for this treatment: Gary D. Wallace 2012, Pityopus californicus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 23, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 23, 2019.

Pityopus californicus
click for enlargement
© 1981 Robert E. Preston, Ph.D.
Pityopus californicus
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© 2009 Barry Rice

More photos of Pityopus californicus in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Pityopus californicus:
NCo, KR, NCoRO, s SNH, CCo, SnFrB;
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.
View all CCH records

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.