Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Aphanes occidentalis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: RosaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: ROSE FAMILY
Habit: Annual to tree, glandular or not. Leaf: simple to palmately or pinnately compound, generally alternate; stipules free to fused (0), persistent to deciduous. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, cluster, or flowers 1; bractlets on pedicel ("pedicel bractlets") generally 0--3(many), subtended by bract or generally not. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium free or fused to ovary, saucer- to funnel-shaped, subtending bractlets ("hypanthium bractlets") 0--5, alternate sepals; sepals generally 5; petals generally 5, free; stamens (0,1)5--many, anther pollen sacs generally 2; pistils (0)1--many, simple or compound, ovary superior to inferior, styles 1--5. Fruit: 1--many per flower, achene (fleshy-coated or not), follicle, drupe, or pome with generally papery core, occasionally drupe-like with 1--5 stones. Seed: generally 1--5 (per fruit, not per flower).
Genera In Family: 110 genera, +- 3000 species: worldwide, especially temperate; many cultivated for ornament, fruit, especially Cotoneaster, Fragaria, Malus, Prunus, Pyracantha, Rosa, Rubus. Note: Number of teeth is per leaf or leaflet, not per side of leaf or leaflet, except in Drymocallis.
eFlora Treatment Author: Daniel Potter & Barbara Ertter, family description, key to genera, treatment of genera by Daniel Potter, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Daniel Potter, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: AphanesView Description 

Habit: Annual, inconspicuous, soft-hairy, nonglandular. Stem: spreading to erect. Leaf: palmately lobed. Inflorescence: few-flowered cluster, axillary, +- hidden by sheathing stipules; pedicel bractlets 0. Flower: hypanthium +- urn-shaped, bractlets 0 or 4; sepals 4; petals 0; stamen generally 1, pollen sac 1, horseshoe-shaped; pistil generally 1, ovary superior, style attached near base. Fruit: hypanthium encasing achene, not hardened.
Etymology: (Greek: unseen, from hidden flowers)
eFlora Treatment Author: Barbara Ertter
Unabridged Reference: Rothmaler 1937 Fedde Rep Sp Nov Regni Veg 42:164--173
Aphanes occidentalis (Nutt.) Rydb.
Stem: generally 2--10 cm. Leaf: generally 3--12 mm; stipules widely ovate, deeply lobed; petiole generally 1--5 mm; blade generally 2--5 mm, +- round, main lobes 3, > 2/3 to base, again toothed or lobed. Flower: 0.5--2 mm; hypanthium bractlets 0 or < 0.5 mm; sepals 0.2--0.6 mm. Fruit: achene +- 1 mm, ovoid.
Ecology: Seasonally moist grassland, chaparral, woodland; Elevation: 30--1200 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaRF, SNF, ScV, CW, SW; Distribution Outside California: to Washington, Baja California. Flowering Time: Mar--May Note: Highly variable; several +- separable forms.
Synonyms: Alchemilla occidentalis Nutt.
Unabridged Note: Highly variable, with several +- separable forms. Relation to species of Mediterranean unclear. northern NCo plants with more hidden flowers resemble Aphanes microcarpa (Boiss. & Reut.) Rothm. of eastern North America, Europe. Aphanes arvensis L. (larger plants) weedy in Oregon, Washington.
Jepson eFlora Author: Barbara Ertter
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Aphanes occidentalis

botanical illustration including Aphanes occidentalis


Citation for this treatment: Barbara Ertter 2012, Aphanes occidentalis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on January 30, 2023.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2023, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on January 30, 2023.

Aphanes occidentalis
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Aphanes occidentalis
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© 2008 Chris Winchell
Aphanes occidentalis
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© 2008 Chris Winchell
Aphanes occidentalis
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© 2008 Chris Winchell
Aphanes occidentalis
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© 2009 Neal Kramer
Aphanes occidentalis
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© 2005 Steve Matson

More photos of Aphanes occidentalis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Aphanes occidentalis:
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).