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.



Annual to tree
Leaves generally compound, alternate, stipuled; leaflets generally entire
Inflorescence: generally raceme, spike, umbel or head; flowers sometime 1–2 in axils
Flowers generally bisexual, generally bilateral; hypanthium generally flat or cup-like; sepals generally 5, fused; petals generally 5, free, or the 2 lower ± fused; stamens 1–many, often 10 with 9 filaments at least partly fused, 1 (uppermost) free; pistil 1, ovary superior, generally 1-chambered, ovules 1–many, style, stigma 1
Fruit: legume, sometimes including a stalk-like base above receptacle, dehiscent, or indehiscent and breaking into 1-seeded segments, or indehiscent, 1-seeded, and achene-like
Seeds 1–several, often ± reniform, generally hard, smooth
Genera in family: ± 650 genera, 18,000 species: worldwide; with grasses, requisite in agriculture and most natural ecosystems. Many cultivated, most importantly Arachis , peanut; Glycine , soybean; Phaseolus , beans; Medicago ; Trifolium ; and many orns
Reference: [Polhill & Raven (eds) 1981 Advances in legume systematics; Allen & Allen 1981 Leguminosae]
Family description and key to genera by Duane Isely.


Elizabeth McClintock

Perennial, shrub, tree, armed or not, gland-dotted or not
Leaves odd- or even-2-compound, alternate
Inflorescence: generally raceme, axillary or terminal
Flower ± bilateral; sepals ± free, overlapped above; stamens 10, ± exserted, free
Fruit dehiscent or not, inflated or flat
Species in genus: ± 200 species: tropical, warm temp; some cultivated
Etymology: (A. Caesalpini, Italy, 1519–1603)
Reference: [Isely 1975 Mem New York Bot Garden 25(2):33–51]


C. spinosa (Molina) Kuntze


Shrub, small tree < 2 m; prickles scattered
Stem: twigs brown-hairy
Leaves evergreen; stipules 0; 1° leaflets 3–10 pairs, < 8 cm; 2° leaflets 5–7 pairs, 1.5–4 cm, elliptic
Inflorescence 15–20 cm, not wider below, many-flowered, puberulent
Flower: sepals 5–7 mm, not all alike (lowest boat-shaped, with many, long, marginal teeth); petals 6–7 mm, yellow to reddish; stamens unequal, irregular in length, barely exserted, yellow
Fruit indehiscent, 6–10 cm, oblong, becoming more withered, dry, spongy to leathery
Ecology: Uncommon. Dry, disturbed, often urban areas
Elevation: < 50 m.
Bioregional distribution: South Coast (Ventura Co.), expected elsewhere
Distribution outside California: native to S.America

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