TREATMENT FROM THE JEPSON MANUAL (1993) previous taxon | next taxon
Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
For up-to-date information about California vascular plants, visit the Jepson eFlora.-->

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Annual to subshrubs, fleshy
Leaves generally simple, generally basal and cauline, alternate or opposite, generally reduced upward
Inflorescence: generally cyme, generally bracted
Flower: sepals generally 3–5, generally ± free; petals generally 3–5, ± free or fused; stamens = to >> sepals, free or epipetalous; pistils generally 3–5, simple (sometimes fused at base), ovary 1-chambered, placenta 1, parietal, ovules 1–many, style 1
Fruit: follicles generally 3–5
Seeds 1–many, small
Genera in family: ± 30 genera, ± 1500 species: ± worldwide, especially dry temp; many cultivated for ornamental. Family description and generic key by Melinda F. Denton and Reid Moran.


Reid Moran

Annual in CA, terrestrial, sometimes submersed and later stranded in dry ponds, glabrous in CA
Stem decumbent to erect, branched or not
Leaves basal and cauline, opposite; leaf bases fused, ± sheathing
Inflorescence: flowers solitary in leaf axils
Flower: sepals 3–5, ± fused at base; petals free or ± fused at base; stamen number = sepal number; pistils 3–5
Fruit: follicles 3–5, generally erect
Seeds 1–many, in CA generally < 0.5 mm, elliptic to elliptic-oblong, red-brown
Species in genus: ± 300 species: especially Africa (annual species ± worldwide)
Etymology: (Latin: diminutive of thick)
Some subshrubs (e.g. C. tetragona L.) cultivated, sometimes persisting.


C. aquatica (L.) Schönl.

Stems decumbent, later ± erect if stranded, generally branched at base, rooting at lower nodes
Leaf 2–6 mm, oblanceolate to linear; tip acute
Inflorescence: flower 1 per leaf pair; pedicel < 19 mm
Flower 1–2 mm; sepals 4, ± 0.5–1.5 mm, ovate to oblong, tip rounded to obtuse; petals 1–2 mm, lanceolate; style minute, spreading in fruit
Fruit: follicles erect, oblong, subtruncate
Seeds 6–17, elliptic-oblong
Chromosomes: 2n=42
Ecology: Salt marshes, vernal pools, ponds
Elevation: < 3000 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Sierra Nevada Foothills, Great Central Valley, Central Western California, Southwestern California (except n Channel Islands)
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, ne US, Mexico, n Eurasia
Synonyms: Tillaea a. L
Plants from interior habitats with pedicels elongated in fruit have been called C. saginoides (Maxim.) M. Bywater & Wickens

previous taxon | next taxon
bioregional map for CRASSULA%20aquatica being generated

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Crassula aquatica
Retrieve dichotomous key for Crassula
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions
Return to treatment index page
University & Jepson Herbaria Home Page | Copyright © by the Regents of the University of California