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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, biennial, perennial herb, generally from taproot
Leaves basal or cauline, alternate, generally pinnately toothed to lobed
Inflorescence: spike, raceme-like, or flowers in axils of upper, reduced leaves
Flower radial, generally opening at dusk; sepals 4, reflexed in flower (sometimes 2–3 remaining adherent); petals 4, yellow, white, rose, or ± purple, generally fading orangish to purplish, tip notched or toothed; stamens 8, anthers attached at middle; ovary chambers 4, stigma deeply lobed, generally > anthers and cross-pollinated (or ± = anthers and self-pollinated)
Fruit cylindric to 4-winged, straight to curved, generally sessile (base sometimes seedless, stalk-like)
Seeds in generally 2(1–3) rows per chamber, or clustered
Species in genus: 119 species: Am, some widely naturalized
Etymology: (Greek: wine-scented)
Reference: [Dietrich & Wagner 1988 Syst Bot Monogr 24:1–91]
Many species self-pollinated; some of these have chromosome peculiarities (ring of 14 in meiosis) and ± 50% pollen fertility; they yield genetically ± identical offspring; they are identified as Permanent Translocation Heterozygote.


O. caespitosa Nutt.


Perennial, rosetted; caudex woody, new shoots generally from lateral roots; hairs glandular and sometimes also coarse and non-glandular
Stem sprawling, < 2 dm, or ± 0
Leaf 1.7–36 cm, oblanceolate to narrowly elliptic, generally irregularly dentate to lobed
Inflorescence: flowers in axils
Flower: hypanthium 30–165 mm; sepals 16–50 mm, tips in bud not free; petals 16–56 mm, white
Fruit 10–68 mm, 4–9 mm wide, cylindric to elliptic-ovate, tubercled
Seed obovate to ± triangular, papillate or netted, 1 side with a cavity sealed by a depressed, generally splitting membrane
Chromosomes: 2n=14,28
Ecology: Open desert scrub, pinyon/juniper woodland, coniferous and bristlecone-pine forests
Elevation: 1100–3400 m.
Bioregional distribution: Modoc Plateau (likely), East of Sierra Nevada, Desert
Distribution outside California: w US
Cross-pollinated. 5 intergrading subspp., 2 in CA.

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