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Physaria occidentalis subsp. occidentalis

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: PhysariaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb with caudex (annual or biennial); hairs stellate, +- sessile. Stem: erect to decumbent or prostrate, simple or branched distally. Leaf: basal generally rosetted, simple, entire to wavy or dentate (pinnately lobed); cauline petioled or sessile, entire to wavy or dentate, base not lobed. Flower: sepals oblong to ovate, erect or spreading, sac-like at base; petals yellow (white or +- purple), widely ovate to spoon-shaped, clawed or not. Fruit: silicle, dehiscent, spheric to ovoid, ellipsoid, oblong, or spectacle-shaped, inflated and bladdery or not, unsegmented, generally not flattened (flattened); stigma entire. Seed: 4--28(40), in 2 rows, wingless (narrowly winged).
Species In Genus: 105 species: western North America, South America. Etymology: (Greek: bladder, from inflated fruit)
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz

Physaria occidentalis (S. Watson) O'Kane & Al-Shehbaz subsp. occidentalis
Habit: Densely hairy. Stem: prostrate to decumbent or erect, generally simple, 0.3--1.5(3) dm. Leaf: basal 1--8 cm, +- round to obovate or elliptic, margin wavy-dentate to entire; cauline 0.5--1.5(2.5) cm, oblanceolate, entire or sparsely dentate, proximal short-petioled, distal sessile. Flower: sepals 4.5--7 mm; petals 7--9(14) mm, spoon-shaped, yellow. Fruit: (5)6--9 mm, ellipsoid to obovoid, strongly compressed parallel to septum, acute at tip, densely hairy outside, sparsely hairy inside or glabrous; style (2)3--6.5 mm, generally sparsely hairy; pedicel 5--10(15) mm. Seed: 4--16, ovoid to ellipsoid. Chromosomes: 2n=10.
Ecology: Gravelly soils, talus, ridges, barren hillsides, volcanic rocks, decomposed limestone, schist; Elevation: 600--3350 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoRH, CaRH, n SNH, MP; Distribution Outside California: to Washington, Idaho, Nevada. Flowering Time: Apr--Aug Note: Physaria occidentalis subsp. cinerascens (Maguire & A.H. Holmgren) O'Kane & Al-Shehbaz in Nevada, Utah.
Synonyms: Lesquerella occidentalis (S. Watson) S. Watson subsp. occidentalis; Lesquerella cusickii M.E. Jones
eFlora Treatment Author: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz
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botanical illustration including Physaria occidentalis subsp. occidentalis


Citation for this treatment: Ihsan A. Al-Shehbaz 2017. Physaria occidentalis subsp. occidentalis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 21, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 21, 2017.

Physaria occidentalis subsp. occidentalis
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© 2017 Steve Matson
Physaria occidentalis subsp. occidentalis
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© 2011 Steve Matson
Physaria occidentalis subsp. occidentalis
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© 2017 Steve Matson
Physaria occidentalis subsp. occidentalis
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© 2017 Steve Matson
Physaria occidentalis subsp. occidentalis
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© 2017 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Physaria occidentalis subsp. occidentalis
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© 2014 Dana York

More photos of Physaria occidentalis subsp. occidentalis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Physaria occidentalis subsp. occidentalis:
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.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.