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.



R. David Whetstone and T.A. Atkinson

Perennial to tree; hairs stellate (or scale-like, peltate)
Leaves cauline, alternate, simple or palmately compound, evergreen, petioled; stipules generally deciduous
Inflorescence: generally complex clusters, cymes, or flowers solitary (in axils, opposite leaves, or on a spur branch); whorl of bracts often subtends calyx (especially if petals 0)
Flower bisexual, radial; sepals 5, generally fused at base; petals 0 or 5, clawed, sometimes fused to filament tube; stamens 5 (sometimes alternate 5 staminodes), filaments fused below into tube; ovary superior, sometimes on a stalk that may be fused to filament tube, chambers generally 5, style 1
Fruit: capsule
Genera in family: 60 genera, 700 species: generally tropical, subtropical; some cultivated for ornamental (Fremontodendron ) or for drugs and food (Cola ; Theobroma , chocolate)
Reference: [Brizicky 1966 J Arnold Arbor 47:60–74]



Shrub, small tree
Stem decumbent to erect, 3–8 m; inner bark gelatinous; twig hairs very dense, stellate
Leaf often on a spur, ± ovate, generally with 3 main and few–many 2° lobes, otherwise entire; hairs generally denser on lower surface
Inflorescence: flowers generally solitary, opposite a leaf or on a spur; flower subtended by generally 3 sepal-like bracts
Flower > 25 mm wide, showy; sepals spreading, widely ovate to ± round, upper surfaces pitted between raised, hard, fused basal margins, tip awned or not; petals 0; filaments thick, fleshy, tube surrounding and ± = ovary, < style; ovary (and fruit) sessile
Fruit 2–4 cm, ovoid, bristly; chambers 2–3 seeded
Species in genus: 2 species: CA, AZ, Mex
Etymology: (John C. Frémont, explorer in West, 1813–1890)
Reference: [Kelman 1991 Syst Bot 16:3–20]


F. californicum (Torr.) Coville

Plant erect and branched near ground or decumbent
Leaf 1–5 cm; blade palmately to pinnately lobed, soft to leathery; stipules ± 2 mm
Flower ± 35–60 mm wide; sepals yellow, margins sometimes reddish (or orange, coppery, or reddish), pits silky-hairy
Ecology: Chaparral, oak/pine woodland, rocky ridges
Elevation: ± 400–2000 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: Arizona, Baja California


subsp. californicum

Plant erect, 2–5 m, taller than wide
Leaf: blade palmately to pinnately lobed, rarely entire
Flower < 60 mm wide; sepals yellow, margins sometimes reddish
Ecology: Common. Chaparral, oak/pine woodland
Elevation: ± 400–2000 m. Range of sp.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province
Synonyms: subspp. crassifolium (Eastw.) J.H. Thomas, napense (Eastw.) Munz, obispoense (Eastw.) Munz
Highly variable; some variation induced by habitat; described taxa generally indistinct
Horticultural information: DRN, DRY, SUN: 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; CVS.

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bioregional map for FREMONTODENDRON%20californicum%20subsp.%20californicum being generated

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