Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Wislizenia refracta subsp. palmeri

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CleomaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, shrub, often ill-smelling. Leaf: generally 1-palmate, generally alternate, generally petioled; stipules generally minute, often bristle-like or hairy; leaflets 0 or 3--7. Inflorescence: raceme, head, or flowers 1, expanded in fruit; bracts generally 3-parted below, simple above, or 0. Flower: generally bisexual, radial to +- bilateral; sepals generally 4, free or fused, generally persistent; petals generally 4, free, +- clawed; stamens generally 6, free, exserted, anthers generally coiling at dehiscence; ovary superior, generally on stalk-like receptacle, chamber generally 1, placentas generally 2, parietal, style 1, persistent, stigma generally minute, +- head-like. Fruit: 2 nutlets or generally capsule, septicidal; valves generally 2, deciduous, leaving septum (frame-like placentas) behind; pedicel generally +- reflexed to spreading.
Genera In Family: 17 genera, +- 150 species: widespread tropics to arid temperate. Note: Treated as Capparaceae in TJM (1993).
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Staria S. Vanderpool
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: WislizeniaView Description 

Species In Genus: 1 sp. Etymology: (F.A. Wislizenus, plant collector in southwestern United States, 1810--1889)
Species: Wislizenia refractaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, short-lived perennial herb, glabrous to puberulent. Stem: much-branched from base, 0.5--24 dm. Leaf: petiole 3--25 mm; leaflets generally 3. Inflorescence: raceme, terminal, 1--3 cm, dense, in fruit 4--20 cm; pedicels 5--10 mm. Flower: radial; sepals free, 1--2 mm, +- entire, green; petals 2.5--6.3 mm, elliptic, yellow, tapered to base, claw +- 0; stamens 8--14 mm, yellow; ovary 0.3--0.6 mm, generally exserted, lobes 2, +- free, each generally 1-ovuled, style 2--5.5 mm. Fruit: 2 nutlets; valves deciduous; receptacle stalk-like, reflexed; style elongate but not spine-like. Seed: 1(3) per nutlet. Chromosomes: 2n=40.
Toxicity: TOXIC but seldom eaten. Note: Valuable honey pl.
Unabridged Reference: Vanderpool et al. 1991 Amer J Bot 78:295--937
Wislizenia refracta Engelm. subsp. palmeri (A. Gray) S. Keller
Habit: Perennial herb, short-lived. Stem: brown-gray. Leaf: leaflets 3 below, 1 (leaf simple) above, 17--35 mm, linear-elliptic. Flower: receptacle 5--14 mm; sepals 1--1.7 mm, ovate; anthers 1.5--2.3 mm; style 2.5--5.5 mm.
Ecology: Sandy washes, dunes, desert scrub; Elevation: < 130 m. Bioregional Distribution: DSon; Distribution Outside California: northwestern Mexico. Flowering Time: Apr--Nov
Synonyms: Wislizenia palmeri A. Gray
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert E. Preston & Staria S. Vanderpool
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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Botanical illustration including Wislizenia refracta subsp. palmeri

botanical illustration including Wislizenia refracta subsp. palmeri


Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Staria S. Vanderpool 2012, Wislizenia refracta subsp. palmeri, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 14, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 14, 2022.

No expert verified images found for Wislizenia refracta subsp. palmeri.

Geographic subdivisions for Wislizenia refracta subsp. palmeri:
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).