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. John Little

Annual to shrub or vine (generally per in CA)
Leaves basal, cauline, or both, generally alternate, entire to compound; stipules generally small
Inflorescence: head, raceme, panicle, or flowers solitary; peduncle bractlets 2
Flower generally bisexual, generally bilateral; sepals 5, free to slightly fused, generally persistent; petals 5, free, lowest generally spurred or pouched at base; stamens generally 5, alternate petals, filaments short, wide, anthers surrounding ovary, adherent or fused, often with nectaries at base, often with membranous appendage at tip; ovary superior, chamber 1, placentas 3, parietal, ovules generally many, style 1
Fruit: generally capsule, 3-valved, generally explosively dehiscent
Seeds generally appendaged
Genera in family: 15 genera, 600 species: generally temp, worldwide; some cultivated as ornamental; some Eur species medicinally useful as emetics, diuretics, purgatives
Reference: [Brizicky 1961 J Arnold Arbor 42:321–333]



Annual or perennial herb < 35 cm, glabrous to hairy
Leaf entire to compound
Inflorescence: flower generally solitary, axillary
Flower bilateral; sepals subequal, appendaged at base; petals unequal, lowest spurred or pouched at base, lateral 2 equal, generally spreading, often hairy near base, upper 2 equal, erect; lower 2 stamens with nectaries projecting into spur
Fruit: capsule, ovoid to oblong
Etymology: (Latin: ancient name)
Reference: [Clausen 1964 Madroño 17:173–197]
Cleistogamous flowers generally present. Seeds often dispersed by ants that feed on seed-appendages.


V. arvensis Murray

Annual 5–35 cm
Stem prostrate to erect, much-branched, puberulent
Leaves simple, cauline; stipules like and nearly = leaf, pinnately lobed; petiole ± 1 cm; blade 15–30 mm, 3–10 mm wide, narrowly lanceolate to ± ovate, coarsely crenate-serrate
Inflorescence: peduncle < 80 mm
Flower: sepals < 12 mm, appendages < 4 mm, ear-like, ± = petal spur; petals generally < sepals, mainly cream (or tinged blue-violet on upper 4), lowest (including spur) 7–15 mm
Fruit 5–9 mm, glabrous
Chromosomes: 2n=34
Ecology: Lawns, gardens, waste places
Elevation: < 900 m.
Bioregional distribution: Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada Foothills, Great Central Valley, waif from cultivated elsewhere
Distribution outside California: widespread N.America; native to Europe

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