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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.



John Bleck, Wayne R. Ferren Jr., Nancy J. Vivrette

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, generally fleshy
Stem underground or prostrate to erect
Leaves generally simple, generally cauline, generally opposite; stipule generally 0; blade generally glabrous, often glaucous
Inflorescence: cyme or flower solitary
Flower generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium present; sepals 3–8; petals generally many in several whorls, free or fused at base, linear, sometimes 0; stamens 1–many, free or fused in groups, outer often petal-like; nectary a ring or separate glands; pistil 1, ovary superior to inferior, chambers 1–20, placentas generally parietal, styles 0–20, stigmas 1–20
Fruit: generally capsule, opening by flaps or circumscissile, or berry or nut
Seeds 1–many per chamber, often with aril
Genera in family: 130 genera, 2500 species: generally subtropical, especially s Africa; many cultivated, some waifs in CA (e.g., Disphyma crassifolium (L.) L. Bolus: ovary glands convex and minutely crenate, stigmas densely plumose, fruit chambers 5, seeds ovate, ± smooth; Lampranthus species: ovary glands fused, fruit chambers 5, seeds pear-shaped, ± black, rough; both genera members of Ruschieae)
Reference: [Ferren et al. 1981 Madroño 28:80–85]
Glinus, Mollugo are in Molluginaceae.


John Bleck

Perennial, generally short-lived; roots diffuse or tuberous
Stem underground, vertical; annual shoots prostrate to ascending
Leaves: basal rosette present; cauline leaves generally alternate, linear, ± triangular in X -section
Inflorescence: flower solitary, axillary; bracts 0
Flower 5–13 cm diam; sepals 5, ± unequal, wider at base, tip cylindric, basal margins of inner 3 papery; petals free, linear, yellow; stamens many, filament base hairy; ovary ± inferior, chambers 10–20, styles 0, stigmas 10–20, thread-like, sessile
Fruit: capsule; conic top opening by 10–20 flaps that do not spread when moistened, finally separating into 10–20 valves
Seed spheric, smooth
Species in genus: 10 species: s Africa
Etymology: (Greek: cone-shaped)


C. pugioniformis (L.) N.E. Br.

Stem a single underground caudex, < 30 cm, 1–2 cm diam
Leaves: cauline scattered, crowded toward stem tip, 15–20 cm, 10–12 mm wide, gray-green, glabrous, upper surface grooved or flat
Inflorescence: peduncle < 12 cm
Flower 5–8 cm diam, shiny yellow, lasting several days; odor unpleasant
Seed 1.5–1.8 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=18
Ecology: Uncommon. Sandy places, especially coastal dunes
Elevation: < 100 m.
Bioregional distribution: Central Coast
Distribution outside California: native to s Africa
Synonyms: Mesembryanthemum p. L.; M. elongatum Haw. misapplied

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