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SAURURACEAE

LIZARD'S-TAIL FAMILY

Elizabeth McClintock

Perennial, from rhizomes or stolons
Leaves simple, alternate; stipules joined to petiole
Inflorescence: spike, dense, many-flowered, terminal, sometimes subtended by petal-like involucre bracts and so resembling a single flower
Flowers small, bisexual; perianth 0; stamens 6, 8 (or 3); ovary superior but sometimes embedded in inflorescence axis, compound, 1-chambered or carpels fused only at base, styles 3–4, distinct
Fruit: capsule, ± fleshy, dehiscent at tip or ± berry-like
Seeds many or 1, spheric or ovate
Genera in family: 5 genera, 7 species: e Asia, North America
Reference: [Wood 1971 J Arnold Arb 52:479–485]

ANEMOPSIS


Species in genus: 1 sp
Etymology: (Greek: anemone-like, from inflorescence)
Reference: [Howell 1971 Wasmann J Biology 29:97–100]

Native

A. californica (Nutt.) Hook. & Arn.

YERBA MANSA

Rhizome creeping, thick, woody
Stem 15–50 cm, generally naked, hollow, glabrous or hairy
Leaves: basal several, blade 5–15 cm, elliptic to oblong or base sometimes cordate, petiole 10–20 cm; cauline few, ovate, generally subsessile to clasping, sometimes subtending 1–3 short-petioled leaves
Inflorescence 1.5–4 cm, conic; involucre bracts 5–8, 1–3 cm, petal-like, white, often tinged reddish
Flower (except lowermost) subtended by a 5–6 mm white bract; stamens appearing to arise from inflorescence axis
Ecology: Common. Saline or alkaline soil, wet or moist areas, seeps, springs
Elevation: 75–1700 m.
Bioregional distribution: sw Sacramento Valley, San Joaquin Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast Ranges, South Coast, Channel Islands, Peninsular Ranges, White and Inyo Mountains, Mojave Desert
Distribution outside California: to Utah, w Texas, nw Mexico
Flowering time: Mar–Sep
Synonyms: A. c. var. subglabra Kelso
Plants aromatic, once used to treat diseases of skin, blood
Horticultural information: IRR or WET: 3, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 &SHD: 11, 12; deciduous GRCVR.

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