TREATMENT FROM THE JEPSON MANUAL (1993) previous taxon | next taxon
Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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Annual to tree
Leaves generally compound, alternate, stipuled; leaflets generally entire
Inflorescence: generally raceme, spike, umbel or head; flowers sometime 1–2 in axils
Flowers generally bisexual, generally bilateral; hypanthium generally flat or cup-like; sepals generally 5, fused; petals generally 5, free, or the 2 lower ± fused; stamens 1–many, often 10 with 9 filaments at least partly fused, 1 (uppermost) free; pistil 1, ovary superior, generally 1-chambered, ovules 1–many, style, stigma 1
Fruit: legume, sometimes including a stalk-like base above receptacle, dehiscent, or indehiscent and breaking into 1-seeded segments, or indehiscent, 1-seeded, and achene-like
Seeds 1–several, often ± reniform, generally hard, smooth
Genera in family: ± 650 genera, 18,000 species: worldwide; with grasses, requisite in agriculture and most natural ecosystems. Many cultivated, most importantly Arachis , peanut; Glycine , soybean; Phaseolus , beans; Medicago ; Trifolium ; and many orns
Reference: [Polhill & Raven (eds) 1981 Advances in legume systematics; Allen & Allen 1981 Leguminosae]
Family description and key to genera by Duane Isely.


Elizabeth McClintock

Shrub, small tree, unarmed
Stem often ribbed, persistently green
Leaves 1-compound (generally ternate), generally alternate, petioled; stipules free or 0
Inflorescence: generally racemes, terminal or flowers 1–3 in axillary, peduncled clusters
Flower: calyx bell-shaped, 2-lipped, upper lip barely 2-lobed, lower lip minutely 3-lobed; petals white or generally yellow, banner yellow, generally not hairy, keel oblong-sickle-shaped to ± 1/2 circular, curved on lower surface, claw ± 1/4 keel; stamens 10, filaments fused; style generally abruptly curved at ± middle or gently curved entire length
Fruit dehiscent, generally oblong, papery to ± leathery; pedicel short
Seeds few–many, generally arilled
Species in genus: 33 species: Eur, w Asia, n Africa, Canary Islands; some cultivated
Etymology: (Greek: name for several woody Fabaceae)
Reference: [Viciosa 1955 Inst For de Investi y Exper no. 72]


C. multiflorus (L'Hér.) Sweet


Shrub 3–4+ m; branches many, 5-angled, flexible, broom-like, generally leafless in flower, silvery-silky-hairy when young, then ± glabrous
Leaves: on lower branches petioled, leaflets 3; on upper branches 0 or sessile, leaflets 1; leaflets < 10 mm, linear-lanceolate or oblong, silvery-silky-hairy
Inflorescence: cluster, axillary; flowers 1–3; pedicels < 10 mm
Flower: calyx ± 5 mm, silky-hairy; corolla white, banner < 10 mm, dark-striate in lower center, generally ± reflexed
Fruit 25–30 mm, linear-oblong, appressed-hairy
Seeds generally 4–6
Ecology: Uncommon. Disturbed roadsides
Elevation: ± 100 m.
Bioregional distribution: Outer South Coast Ranges (Monterey Co.)
Distribution outside California: native to Spain, Portugal

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