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.



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]



Peter C. Hoch

Annual to subshrub, sometimes floating or rooting at nodes
Leaves alternate to opposite, simple; stipules generally deciduous
Inflorescence: spike; flowers 1 per bract
Flower radial; hypanthium 0; sepals 4–5(7), persistent; petals (0)4–5(7), white to yellow; stamens 4 or 10(12), pollen generally shed singly in CA; stigma club-shaped to spheric
Fruit dehiscing irregularly; wall thick or thin
Seeds free or embedded in fruit wall
Species in genus: 82 species: ± worldwide
Etymology: (C.G. Ludwig, German botanist and physician, 1709–1773)
Reference: [Raven 1963 Reinwardtia 6:327–427]
Many polyploids.


L. palustris (L.) Elliott

Perennial, matted or floating
Stem 1–5 dm, prostrate or ascending, rooting at nodes, well branched, subglabrous
Leaves < 5 cm, opposite; blade narrowly elliptic to subovate, entire, subglabrous
Flower: sepals 4, 1.1–2 mm; petals 0; stamens 4, anthers 0.2–0.4 mm
Fruit erect; pedicel 0–0.5 mm; body (1.5)2–5 mm, ± oblong, minutely strigose, with 4 green stripes
Seed 0.5–0.7 mm, free of fruit wall
Chromosomes: 2n=16
Ecology: Roadside ditches, wet meadows, pond margins
Elevation: < 1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: w Northwestern California, n Sierra Nevada, c High Sierra Nevada, San Joaquin Valley, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, e US, n S.America, introduced ± worldwide
Synonyms: vars. americana (DC.) Fernald & Griscom and pacifica Fernald & Griscom
Highly variable, weedy.

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