Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Allotropa virgata

Higher Taxonomy
Family: EricaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Perennial herb, shrub, tree. Stem: bark often peeling distinctively. Leaf: simple or 0, generally cauline, alternate, opposite (whorled), evergreen or deciduous, often leathery, petioled or not; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, cyme, or flowers 1, terminal or axillary, generally bracted; pedicel often with 2 bractlets. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial, bell-shaped, cylindric, or urn-shaped; sepals generally (0)4--5, generally free; petals generally (0)4--5, free or fused; stamens (2--5)8--10, free, filaments rarely appendaged, anthers dehiscing by pores or slits, awns 0 or 2(4), seemingly abaxial, reduced or elongate, generally curved; nectary generally present at ovary base, generally disk-like; ovary superior or inferior, chambers generally 1--5, placentas axile or parietal, ovules 1--many per chamber, style 1, stigma head- to funnel-like or lobed. Fruit: capsule, drupe, berry. Seed: generally many, winged or not.
Genera In Family: +- 100 genera, 3000 species: generally worldwide except deserts; some cultivated, especially Arbutus, Arctostaphylos, Rhododendron, Vaccinium. Note: Monophyletic only if Empetraceae included, as treated here. Ledum included in Rhododendron. Non-green plants obtain nutrition from green plants through fungal intermediates.
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Gary D. Wallace, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: AllotropaView Description 

Common Name: SUGAR STICK

Etymology: (Greek: different turned, from erect inflorescence)
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace
Allotropa virgata Torr. & A. Gray
Habit: Perennial herb, non-green, glabrous, rhizomed, roots brittle. Stem: 0. Leaf: 0. Inflorescence: raceme-like, < 5 dm, white with red or maroon stripes, emerging from ground erect, persistent after seed dispersal; bracts < 3 cm; bractlets 0; pedicel not recurved when anthers open. Flower: sepals 0(2--4); corolla cup-shaped, white, petals 5, free, concave; stamens 10, exserted, anthers maroon, dehiscing by short separate slits; nectary lobes 10, short; ovary superior, chambers 5, placentas axile, style < 2 mm, stigma disk-like. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal, dehiscing tip to base. Seed: many per chamber, fusiform. Chromosomes: 2n=26.
Ecology: Oak, mixed, or conifer forest; Elevation: 75--3000 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaRH, SNH; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, Montana, Nevada. Flowering Time: Jun--Aug Note: Petals incorrectly considered sepals by some.
Jepson eFlora Author: Gary D. Wallace
Unabridged Reference: Wallace 1975 Wasmann J Biol 33:1--88
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Allotropa
Next taxon: Arbutus

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Botanical illustration including Allotropa virgata

botanical illustration including Allotropa virgata

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Citation for this treatment: Gary D. Wallace 2012, Allotropa virgata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 16, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 16, 2024.

Allotropa virgata
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©2013 Barry Rice
Allotropa virgata
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©2020 Neal Kramer
Allotropa virgata
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©2009 Barry Breckling
Allotropa virgata
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©2006 Steve Matson
Allotropa virgata
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©2010 Keir Morse

More photos of Allotropa virgata
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Allotropa virgata:
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
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).