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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.



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.


James W. Grimes

Perennial, unarmed, gland-dotted; hairs or stalked glands, or both, at least above; caudex woody
Stem prostrate (including stolon) to erect; base green to gray-brown
Leaves odd-1-pinnate, cauline; stipules free; leaflets 3
Inflorescence: raceme, axillary; bract 1, deciduous; flowers 2–3 per node, pedicelled
Flower: calyx lobes > tube, lowest ± keeled, > others, tube flaring only slightly in fruit; corolla at least partly blue to purple; 9 filaments fused, 1 less so or free; ovary hairy, ovule 1, style tip curved or bent, stigma feathery
Fruit indehiscent, unevenly elliptic, brown to black, hairy; veins obvious
Seed ± reniform
Species in genus: 3 species: CA, Baja CA
Etymology: (native American name)
Reference: [Grimes 1990 Mem New York Bot Gard 61:1–114]


H. macrostachya (DC.) Rydb.

Stem erect, < 2 m, much-branched, generally striate; base hollow
Leaf: stipule 1.5–5 mm; petiole 7–62 mm; leaflet 2–10 cm, lanceolate, both surfaces glandular, hairy or not
Inflorescence < 30 cm; bract 3–11 mm
Flower 9–10 mm; calyx 4.5–9 mm; banner 5.5–10 mm
Fruit 6–8 mm, brown; veins prominent
Seed 5–7 mm
Ecology: Streamsides, marshes, spring-moist places
Elevation: < 2500 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province (except Great Central Valley)
Distribution outside California: Baja California
Synonyms: Psoralea m. DC
Horticultural information: WET: 6, 7, 8, 9, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 &SUN: 5, 15, 16, 17; STBL.

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