Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

link to manual TREATMENT FROM THE JEPSON MANUAL (1993) previous taxon | next taxon
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.



John O. Sawyer, Jr. (except Ceanothus)

Shrub, vine, tree, generally erect, often thorny
Leaves simple, generally alternate, often clustered on short-shoots, generally petioled, generally stipuled; blade often 1–3-ribbed from base
Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, or flowers solitary in axils
Flower generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium subtending, surrounding, or partly fused to ovary; sepals 4 or 5; petals 0, 4, or 5, clawed; stamens 4 or 5, alternate sepals, attached to hypanthium top, each generally fitting into a petal concavity; ovary superior or partly inferior, chambers 2–5, each 1–2-ovuled, style lobes or parts 1–3
Fruit: capsule, drupe
Genera in family: 55 genera, 900 species: especially tropical, subtropical; some cultivated (Ceanothus ; Colletia , anchor-plant; Gouania ; Phylica ; Rhamnus ; Ventilago ; Ziziphus )
Reference: [Brizicky 1965 J Arnold Arbor 45:439–463]



Shrub, small tree
Stem: branches alternate, flexible; twigs sometimes thorn-tipped
Leaves sometimes clustered on short-shoots, deciduous or evergreen, petioled; stipules deciduous; blade 1-ribbed from base, entire or not
Inflorescence: umbel or flowers solitary, axillary
Flower bisexual or unisexual, generally < 3 mm; hypanthium at base fused to, developing around ovary in fruit, above base deciduous; sepals 4 or 5; petals 0, 4, or 5; stamens 4 or 5; ovary appearing partly inferior, chambers 2–4, each 1–2-ovuled, style lobes 2–4
Fruit: drupe, 2–4-stoned
Species in genus: 125 species: temp, few tropical
Etymology: (Greek: name for plants of this genus)
Reference: [Wolf 1938 Rancho Santa Ana Bot Gard Monogr 1]
Some of value in medicine or as dyes.


R. californica Eschsch.


Shrub < 5 m
Stem: bark bright gray or brown; twigs glabrous to finely hairy; terminal bud not covered with scales
Leaves evergreen; petiole 3–10 mm; blade 20–80 mm, ovate to elliptic, thick, base acute to rounded, tip acute, rounded, or truncate, margin serrate to entire, sometimes rolled under, both surfaces ± glabrous
Inflorescence 5–60-flowered; pedicels < 20 mm
Flower bisexual; hypanthium 1–2 mm; sepals 5; petals 5; style included
Fruit 10–15 mm, black
Ecology: Coastal-sage scrub, chaparral, woodlands, forests
Elevation: < 2300 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, n Sierra Nevada Foothills, Central Western California, Southwestern California, Desert Mountains (Providence Mtns)
Distribution outside California: sw Oregon
Sspp. intergrade in intermediate habitats.


subsp. californica

Stem: twigs red
Leaf: blade narrowly to widely elliptic, base and tip acute, upper surface generally dark green, lower bright green or yellow, veins prominent
Fruit 2-stoned
Chromosomes: 2n=24
Ecology: Non-serpentine
Elevation: < 2000 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Central Western California, Southwestern California, Desert Mountains (Providence Mtns)
Flowering time: May–Jul
Horticultural information: DRN, DRY: 14, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23, 24 &SHD, IRR: 7, 8, 9, 18, 19, 20, 21; CVS, including GRCVR.

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bioregional map for RHAMNUS%20californica%20subsp.%20californica being generated
N.B. The distribution depicted here differs from that given in The Jepson Manual (1993)

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Rhamnus californica subsp. californica
Retrieve dichotomous key for Rhamnus
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions | Get lists of plants in a bioregion
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