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.



Warren L. Wagner, except as specified Peter H. Raven, Family Coordinator

Annual to tree
Leaves basal or cauline, alternate, opposite, or whorled, generally simple and toothed (to pinnately compound); stipules 0 or generally deciduous
Inflorescence: spike, raceme, panicle, or flowers solitary in axils; bracted
Flower generally bisexual, generally radial, opening at dawn or dusk; hypanthium sometimes prolonged beyond ovary (measured from ovary tip to sepal base); sepals generally 4(2–7); petals generally 4 (or as many as sepals, rarely 0), often "fading" darker; stamens generally 4 or 8(2), anthers 2-chambered, opening lengthwise, pollen generally interconnected by threads; ovary inferior, chambers generally 4 (sometimes becoming 1), placentas axile or parietal, ovules 1–many per chamber, style 1, stigma 4-lobed (or lobes as many as sepals), club-shaped, or hemispheric
Fruit: capsule, loculicidal (sometimes berry or indehiscent and nut-like)
Seeds sometimes winged or hair-tufted
Genera in family: 15 genera, ± 650 species: worldwide, especially w North America; many cultivated (Clarkia, Epilobium, Fuchsia, Gaura, Oenothera )
Reference: [Munz 1965 North America Fl II 5:1–278]


Harlan Lewis

Stem generally erect, < 1 m, slender; hairs 0 to dense, rarely glandular
Leaves cauline, alternate (or lowest subopposite), entire, petioled or not, narrow-lanceolate
Inflorescence: flowers axillary, pedicelled or not, opening at dawn
Flower: hypanthium inconspicuous; sepals 4, staying fused in 2's or all coming free; petals 4, 0.5–8 mm, white, with 1–2 yellow or greenish spots at base, fading pink or red; stamens 8, those opposite sepals larger, pollen ± yellow; ovary chambers 2, stigma generally not beyond anthers, generally touching them, generally ± spheric
Fruit: capsule, ± cylindric or flat; valves 4, all generally coming free, generally equal
Seeds few–many, generally all maturing, generally appressed to septum, alternate or subopposite between chambers, in each chamber generally in 1 row and generally not overlapped, 0.5–2.3 mm, ovoid, glabrous or hairy, brown or gray mottled with brown; appendages 0
Species in genus: ± 9 species: w North America, 2 South America
Etymology: (C. Gay, French author of Flora of Chile, 1800–1873)
Reference: [Lewis & Szweykowski 1964 Brittonia 16:343–391]
Self-compatible; taxa with petals < 3 mm self-pollinated.


G. heterozygum F.H. Lewis & Szweyk.

Stem < 80 cm; branches generally 0 at base, forked above
Leaves 1.5–6 cm, much reduced above
Inflorescence: 1st flower generally 10–20 nodes above base
Flower: petals generally 2–3 mm; larger stamens 2–4 mm, pollen ± 50% aborted; ovary hairy, stigma hemispheric or not
Fruit 6–15 mm, > pedicel, very irregular, lumpy
Seeds 2–10 maturing, ± 50% aborted, irregularly alternate, glabrous to densely puberulent
Chromosomes: 2n=14
Ecology: Open montane forest
Elevation: 800–3000 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, High North Coast Ranges, High Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, Tehachapi Mountain Area, Outer South Coast Ranges, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, Warner Mountains
Distribution outside California: to Washington, Nevada
Generally self-pollinated; stable hybrid, probably between G. eriospermum, G. oligospermum.

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