Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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



James R. Shevock

Perennial, shrubs, trees, sometimes dioecious
Leaves generally opposite, simple, generally entire, generally deciduous; stipules 0
Inflorescence: cyme or racemes, generally umbel- or head-like, sometimes subtended by showy, petal-like bracts
Flower generally small, generally bisexual; calyx generally 4-lobed; petals 0 or 4(5), free; stamens generally as many as and alternate petals; ovary inferior, chambers 1–4, each 1-ovuled, style simple, stigma 1–4-lobed
Fruit: generally drupe or berry
Seeds generally 1–2
Genera in family: ± 12 genera, ± 100 species: especially n temp (also s tropical, subtropical). Cult as ornamental (Cornus, Aucuba ); some timber species. Genera diverse; many have been treated as constituting families, but trend is to treat Cornaceae broadly
Reference: [Eyde 1987 Syst Bot 12:505–518]



Perennial, shrubs, trees
Leaves generally opposite or whorled, simple, generally deciduous; both ends generally tapered
Inflorescence small, head- or umbel-like, and surrounded by showy bracts (or cyme, large, open, lacking showy bracts)
Flower generally minute; sepals 4, fused at base; petals 4; stamens 4, attached to receptacle; style 1, thread-like, stigma simple
Fruit: drupe; stone 1–2-chambered
Species in genus: ± 50 species: n temp (rare in s hemisphere); many cultivated as ornamental, some for autumn color. Some fruit used for jam, syrup
Etymology: (Latin: horn, from the hard wood)
Divided by some into at least 6 genera.


C. nuttallii Audubon


Tree < 25 m
Stem: twigs green; bark becoming dark red to almost black, hairy
Leaves deciduous; blade 6–12 cm, narrowly elliptic to obovate, appressed-puberulent above, paler and hairier beneath; petioles 5–10 mm
Inflorescence: head; subtending bracts 4–7, 4–6 cm, 3–6 cm wide, showy, petal-like, white to pinkish; receptacle convex
Flower: sepals 2.5 mm; petals 4 mm, greenish to white; style 2 mm
Fruit 1–1.5 cm, elliptic in outline, generally angled from crowding, red; stone smooth
Ecology: Forests
Elevation: < 2000 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province (less common in s California)
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, Idaho
Horticultural information: DRN: 4, 5 &IRR : 6, &SHD: 1, 2, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23; DFCLT.

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