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.



Lauramay T. Dempster

Annual, perennial herb, generally scapose
Leaves generally basal, simple, with longitudinal ribs; stipules 0
Inflorescence: spike, generally terminal, generally dense; flowers few–many, each subtended by 1 bract
Flower unisexual or bisexual, generally radial; calyx deeply 4-lobed, lobes generally overlapping, persistent, margin mostly scarious; corolla salverform or cylindric, lobes 4, spreading to erect, scarious, persistent, colorless; stamens 2–4, alternate corolla lobes, epipetalous; ovary superior, 2–4-chambered, ovules several per chamber, style 1, stigma long, hairy
Genera in family: 3 genera, ± 270 species: worldwide, especially temp; some weedy, some (especially P. afra , psyllium) cultivated for laxative
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated to include Callitrichaceae, and most non-parasitic CA genera of Scrophulariaceae (but not Mimulus, Scrophularia, Verbascum); = Veronicaceae sensu Olmstead et al. [Angiosperm Phylogeny Group 1998 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 85:531–553; Olmstead et al. 2001 Mol Phylog Evol 16:96–112]



Annual, perennial herb
Stem decumbent to erect
Flower generally bisexual; corolla radial, sometimes bilateral
Fruit: capsule, circumscissile ± at or below middle
Seeds 2–many, gelatinous when wet
Species in genus: ± 250 species: worldwide
Etymology: (Latin: sole of foot)


P. maritima L.

Perennial, generally glabrous except peduncle; caudex stout; taproot long, thick below
Leaf 3–15 cm, linear to narrowly oblanceolate, gradually tapered to base, entire or sparsely dentate
Inflorescences few–many, generally 8–30 cm including peduncle; spike 2–10 cm, narrowly cylindric, generally dense, looser near base; bract ± = sepals, widely ovate, not exserted
Flower: corolla lobes ± 1 mm, 3 generally spreading, 1 erect, ovate-lanceolate; stamens 4
Seeds 2–3, 2 mm
Ecology: Coastal bluffs, wet and saline places
Elevation: < 150 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area, n Channel Islands
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, ne N.America
Tall, narrow-lvd plants from wet places have been called var. juncoides (Lam.) A. Gray; low plants with spreading or ascending peduncles from dry places or coastal bluffs have been called var. californica (Fernald) Pilg
Horticultural information: DRN, IRR: 14, 22, 23, 24 &SUN: 5, 15, 16, 17.

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