Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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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. ovata Forssk.

Annual, ± densely silky-hairy
Leaf 2–17 cm, linear or rarely oblong, entire or teeth few, minute
Inflorescences few–many, generally 2–27 cm including peduncle; spike 0.5–3.5 cm, generally short-cylindric, dense, woolly; bract ± = sepals, ovate to round, not exserted
Flower: corolla lobes 1.3–2.8 mm, spreading, round-ovate, tips obtuse; stamens 4
Seeds 2, 2–2.5 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=8
Ecology: Sandy or gravelly soils, creosote-bush scrub, Joshua-tree woodland, sagebrush scrub, coastal strand
Elevation: < 1400 m.
Bioregional distribution: Central Western California, Southwestern California, East of Sierra Nevada, Desert
Distribution outside California: to Utah, Texas, Baja California; also Mediterranean
Flowering time: Feb–Apr
Synonyms: P. insularis Eastw. including var. fastigiata (E. Morris) Jeps
May be alien, naturalized very early from Medit.

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