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.



Dale W. McNeal, except as specified

Perennial to trees, from membranous bulb, fibrous corm, scaly rhizome, or erect caudex
Stem generally underground
Leaves generally basal, often withering early, alternate, generally ± linear
Inflorescence various, generally bracted
Flower generally bisexual, generally radial; perianth often showy, segments generally 6 in two petal-like whorls (outer sometimes sepal-like), free or fused at base; stamens 6 (or 3 + generally 3 ± petal-like staminodes), filaments sometimes attached to perianth or fused into a tube or crown; ovary superior or inferior, chambers 3, placentas generally axile, style generally 1, stigmas generally 3
Fruit: generally capsule, loculicidal or septicidal (berry or nut)
Genera in family: ± 300 genera, 4600 species: especially ± dry temp and subtropical; many cultivated for ornamental or food; some TOXIC. Here includes genera sometimes treated in Agavaceae, Amaryllidaceae, and other families.



Perennial, non-flower for several years, stalk dying after fruit; rhizome woody, tuber-like
Stem stout, simple, leafy
Leaves persistent, tough, wiry, grass-like, strongly scabrous
Inflorescence: raceme, dense, ± club-shaped, longer (< 50 cm) in fruit
Flower small; perianth parts 6, petal-like, free, oblong to ovate, persistent, whitish to cream, 5–7-veined; stamens 6, filaments wider at base; ovary chambers 3, style short, stigmas 3, thread-like
Fruit: capsule, 3-angled, loculicidal
Seeds 9–18, oblong, 3-angled, black
Species in genus: 2 species: North America
Etymology: (Greek: dry leaf, from tough, persistent leaves)


X. tenax (Pursh) Nutt.

Stem 15–150 cm
Leaves: basal in dense clump, 30–100 cm, 2–6 mm wide; cauline becoming bract-like upward
Inflorescence: pedicels 2–5 cm, spreading to ± erect
Flower 5–10 mm; perianth parts ± oblong; style ± 1 mm, stigma branches 2–4 mm
Fruit 5–7 mm, strongly 3–lobed
Chromosomes: n=15
Ecology: Dry open slopes, ridges, montane coniferous forest
Elevation: < 2300 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, Outer North Coast Ranges, High Cascade Range, n High Sierra Nevada, Central Coast, San Francisco Bay Area
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, Montana, Wyoming
Horticultural information: DRN: 4, 5, 6, 17 &SHD, IRR: 1, 2, 7, 15, 16; DFCLT.

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