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©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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Duncan M. Porter

Herb, shrub, often armed; caudex present or not
Stem branched; nodes often angled, swollen
Leaves 1-compound, opposite; stipules persistent or deciduous; leaflets entire
Inflorescence: flowers 1–2 in axils
Flower bisexual; sepals 5, free, persistent or deciduous; petals 5, free, generally spreading, sometimes twisted and appearing propeller-like; stamens 10, sometimes appendaged on inside base; ovary superior, chambers 5–10, ovules 1–several per chamber, placentas axile
Fruit: capsule or splitting into 5–10 nutlets
Genera in family: 26 genera, ± 250 species: widespread especially in warm, dry regions; some cultivated (Guaiacum, lignum vitae; Peganum, harmal (NOXIOUS and illegal); Tribulus, caltrop (pernicious)). Peganum harmala L. has been reported as a pernicious weed near Daggett, San Bernardino Co
Reference: [Porter 1972 J Arnold Arbor 53:531–552]


Perennial, shrub
Stem < 1 m, spreading, angled or ridged
Leaf palmately compound; stipules stiff, spine-tipped; leaflets 3, spine-tipped, terminal largest
Inflorescence: flowers solitary in axils
Flower: sepals deciduous; petals clawed, twisted, propeller-like, purple to pink, deciduous
Fruit: capsule, deeply 5-lobed, obovoid, ± septicidal; style persistent; peduncle reflexed
Seed 1 per chamber
Species in genus: ± 18 species: sw North America, Chile, Medit, sw Africa
Etymology: (G.C. Fagon, French physician to Louis XIV, 1638–1718)


F. laevis Standl.

Shrub < 1 m, intricately branched
Leaf: leaflets 3–9 mm, generally < petiole, 1–4 mm wide
Flower ± 1 cm wide
Fruit 4–5 mm wide, minutely strigose or hairy, generally with some glands, rarely glabrous; style 1 mm, wider at base
Ecology: Rocky hillsides to sandy washes
Elevation: 0–700 m.
Bioregional distribution: Desert
Distribution outside California: to sw Utah, nw Mexico
Flowering time: Mar–May, Nov–Jan
Synonyms: F. californica Benth. subsp. l. (Standley) Wiggins
Plants with minute, glandular hairs on fruits have been called F. longipes Standley
Horticultural information: TRY.

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