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.



James R. Shevock

Perennial, shrubs, trees, sometimes dioecious
Leaves generally opposite, simple, generally entire, generally deciduous; stipules 0
Inflorescence: cyme or racemes, generally umbel- or head-like, sometimes subtended by showy, petal-like bracts
Flower generally small, generally bisexual; calyx generally 4-lobed; petals 0 or 4(5), free; stamens generally as many as and alternate petals; ovary inferior, chambers 1–4, each 1-ovuled, style simple, stigma 1–4-lobed
Fruit: generally drupe or berry
Seeds generally 1–2
Genera in family: ± 12 genera, ± 100 species: especially n temp (also s tropical, subtropical). Cult as ornamental (Cornus, Aucuba ); some timber species. Genera diverse; many have been treated as constituting families, but trend is to treat Cornaceae broadly
Reference: [Eyde 1987 Syst Bot 12:505–518]



Perennial, shrubs, trees
Leaves generally opposite or whorled, simple, generally deciduous; both ends generally tapered
Inflorescence small, head- or umbel-like, and surrounded by showy bracts (or cyme, large, open, lacking showy bracts)
Flower generally minute; sepals 4, fused at base; petals 4; stamens 4, attached to receptacle; style 1, thread-like, stigma simple
Fruit: drupe; stone 1–2-chambered
Species in genus: ± 50 species: n temp (rare in s hemisphere); many cultivated as ornamental, some for autumn color. Some fruit used for jam, syrup
Etymology: (Latin: horn, from the hard wood)
Divided by some into at least 6 genera.


C. sericea L.


Shrub generally 1.5–4 m
Stem: branches reddish to purple, ± glabrous to minutely strigose; older stems grayish green, generally glabrous
Leaves deciduous; blade generally 5–10 cm, lanceolate to ovate or elliptic, paler beneath, sparsely strigose, veins 4–7 pairs
Inflorescence: cyme, strigose
Flower: petals 2–4.5 mm; style 1–3 mm
Fruit 7–9 mm, white to cream; stone smooth to grooved on face, furrowed on sides
Ecology: Many, generally moist habitats
Elevation: < 2800 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province, White and Inyo Mountains
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, e N.America, Mexico
Highly variable complex with many local forms, treated broadly here. Sspp. intergrade widely
Horticultural information: IRR: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; rather INV.


subsp. occidentalis (Torr. & A. Gray) Fosb.

Plant ± rough hairy
Flower: petals 3–4.5 mm; style 2.5–3 mm
Fruit: stone generally 3-ridged on faces, furrowed on sides
Ecology: Habitats of sp.
Elevation: < 2500 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, Montana
Synonyms: C. o. (Torr. & A. Gray) Coville

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