Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



C. Thomas Philbrick

Annual, in water or on wet ground, monoecious
Stem slender, generally ascending under water, floating on surface, or prostrate on ground, generally much-branched
Leaves simple, generally opposite, 4-ranked, linear-lanceolate to spoon-shaped, entire; stipules 0
Inflorescence: flowers 1–3 per leaf axil, the group subtended by generally 2 whitish, inflated bracts
Flowers minute, unisexual; perianth 0
Staminate flower: stamen generally 1, filament elongate
Pistillate flower: ovary superior, ± obcordate, chambers 4, styles 2, thread-like
Fruit 0.6–1.6 mm (width generally ± = length), ± dry, ± grooved longitudinally, splitting into 4 achene-like units
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated in expanded Plantaginaceae (= Veronicaceae sensu Olmstead et al.) that includes genera removed from Scrophulariaceae [Angiosperm Phylogeny Group 1998 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 85:531–553; Olmstead et al. 2001 Amer J Bot 88:348–361]
Horticultural information: DRN, DRY, SUN; DFCLT.



The only genus,
Species in genus: ± 40 species: tropical, temp
Etymology: (Greek: beautiful hair, from slender stems)
Reference: [Fassett 1951 Rhodora 53:137–155,161–182, 185–194,209–222; Philbrick & Jansen 1991 Syst Bot 16:478–491]
Taxonomically difficult; mature fruit and 10X magnification needed for identification.


C. stagnalis Scop.

Plant mat-forming at water edge or with floating rosettes
Leaves extremely variable; floating, emergent, or terrestrial leaves generally spoon-shaped
Inflorescence: bracts subtending flowers 2–4, whitish, inflated, persistent in fruit
Fruit 1.2–1.8 mm, 1.2–1.7 mm wide, light brown to tan; grooves deep; wing generally uniformly wide from base to tip, transition to fruit wall gradual; pedicel 0–0.5 mm
Ecology: Becoming stranded by streams, ponds, or ditches, or submersed < ± 9 dm
Elevation: < 800 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, North Coast Ranges, n Sierra Nevada Foothills
Distribution outside California: native to Europe
Scattered but spreading in nw US.

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