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Charles F. Quibell

Shrub, subshrub
Stem < 3 m, generally erect; bark generally peeling as thin sheets or narrow strips
Leaves simple, opposite, deciduous or not, ± hairy; stipules 0; blade ± round to narrowly elliptic, entire or toothed
Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flower 1, terminal or axillary, generally bracted
Flower bisexual, radial; sepals 4–7, free, spreading or erect; petals 4–7, free, ± round to narrowly elliptic, generally white; stamens 10–12 in 2 whorls or many and clustered, filament base linear or wide and flat; pistil 1, ovary superior to 2/3 inferior, chambers 2–8, ovules 1–2 or many per chamber, placentas axile or parietal, styles 3–8, free or fused at base
Fruit: capsule, loculicidal or septicidal; styles persistent or not
Seeds generally many, small to minute
Genera in family: 7 genera, 130 species: temp, subtropical n hemisphere; some cultivated for ornamental (Carpenteria, Deutzia, Philadelphus)
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated within Hydrangeaceae [Soltis et al. 1995 Amer J Bot 82: 504–514]



Shrub < 3 m
Stem: bark red-brown, aging gray, peeling as narrow strips or narrow rectangles; twigs glabrous to hairy
Leaves deciduous, petioled; blade 3-veined from base, ± glabrous to hairy, margin entire to toothed
Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, or flower one, terminal, ± open
Flower fragrant; sepals 4–5, glabrous to hairy; petals 4–5, white; stamens generally many, clustered, filaments linear, fused at base, ovary inferior to half-inferior, chambers 4–5, placentas axile, ovules many, style 1, branches generally 4 above middle, stigma linear along style branch
Fruit becoming woody, generally loculicidal
Seeds many, generally fusiform, generally brown
Species in genus: ± 65 species: temp Amer, Eurasia
Etymology: (Greek: for Ptolemy Philadelphus, Greek king of Egypt, 309–247 B.C.)
Reference: [Hu 1956 J Arnold Arbor 37:15–90]


P. lewisii Pursh


Leaf: petiole 3–8 mm; blade 25–75 mm, 20–40 mm wide, ovate, margin entire to toothed, flat
Inflorescence: raceme; flowers 6+
Flower 2–3 cm wide; sepals 4–7 mm; petals 8–12 mm, obovate to oblong
Chromosomes: 2n=26
Ecology: Slopes, canyons, forest openings
Elevation: < 1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, Montana
Synonyms: subsp. californicus (Benth.) Munz
Plants from NW with clearly toothed leaves have been called subsp. gordonianus (Lindl.) Munz. Variation in leaves, flower size needs critical study
Horticultural information: SUN: 4, 5, 6, 17 &IRR: 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; CVS.

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