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©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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Warren L. Wagner, except as specified Peter H. Raven, Family Coordinator

Annual to tree
Leaves basal or cauline, alternate, opposite, or whorled, generally simple and toothed (to pinnately compound); stipules 0 or generally deciduous
Inflorescence: spike, raceme, panicle, or flowers solitary in axils; bracted
Flower generally bisexual, generally radial, opening at dawn or dusk; hypanthium sometimes prolonged beyond ovary (measured from ovary tip to sepal base); sepals generally 4(2–7); petals generally 4 (or as many as sepals, rarely 0), often "fading" darker; stamens generally 4 or 8(2), anthers 2-chambered, opening lengthwise, pollen generally interconnected by threads; ovary inferior, chambers generally 4 (sometimes becoming 1), placentas axile or parietal, ovules 1–many per chamber, style 1, stigma 4-lobed (or lobes as many as sepals), club-shaped, or hemispheric
Fruit: capsule, loculicidal (sometimes berry or indehiscent and nut-like)
Seeds sometimes winged or hair-tufted
Genera in family: 15 genera, ± 650 species: worldwide, especially w North America; many cultivated (Clarkia, Epilobium, Fuchsia, Gaura, Oenothera )
Reference: [Munz 1965 North America Fl II 5:1–278]



Annual, perennial herb, from taproot or lateral roots
Leaves basal, cauline, or both, alternate, simple to 2-pinnate
Inflorescence bracted; spike, raceme, or flowers solitary in axils
Flower radial, generally opening at dawn (rarely at dusk); sepals 4, reflexed (sometimes 2–3 remaining adherent); petals 4, yellow, white, lavender, often with darker basal spots, generally fading purplish or reddish; stamens (4)8, longer ones opposite sepals, anthers generally attached at middle (or base), pollen grains 3-angled except in polyploid taxa (visible with hand lens); ovary chambers 4, stigma ± head-like or hemispheric, generally > anthers and cross-pollinated (or ± = anthers and self-pollinated)
Fruit straight to coiled, generally sessile
Seeds in 1–2 rows per chamber
Species in genus: 62 species: w North America (especially CA-FP), 1 South America
Etymology: (L.A. von Chamisso, French-born German botanist, 1781–1838)
Reference: [Raven 1969 Contr US Natl Herb 37:161–396]
Polyploidy and self-pollination have predominated in evolution of genus. Previously included in Oenothera (" O." in synonyms).


C. chamaenerioides (A. Gray) P.H. Raven

Annual, generally reddish, glandular-hairy (inflorescence also minutely strigose); rosette generally ± 0
Stem erect, 8–50 cm, peeling
Leaf < 80 mm, narrowly elliptic to narrowly lanceolate, sparsely minutely dentate
Inflorescence nodding
Flower opening at dusk; hypanthium 1.6–2.3 mm; sepals 1.5–2.5 mm; petals 1.8–3 mm, white fading reddish
Fruit spreading, 35–55 mm, 0.8–0.9 mm wide, cylindric, ± straight
Seeds in 1 row per chamber, 0.9–1 mm, minutely pitted in rows
Chromosomes: 2n=14
Ecology: Sandy slopes, flats, desert scrub
Elevation: ± -50–1300 m.
Bioregional distribution: White and Inyo Mountains, Desert
Distribution outside California: to Utah, Texas, nw Mexico
Flowering time: Mar–Jun
Synonyms: O. c. A. Gray
Self-pollinated. Related to C. refracta.

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