Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Castela emoryi

Higher Taxonomy
Family: SimaroubaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Shrub, tree; generally dioecious. Stem: occasionally thorny; bark often bitter. Leaf: generally alternate, simple, entire, or pinnately compound, leaflets subentire to toothed near base. Inflorescence: panicle, raceme, or flowers 1. Flower: unisexual, inconspicuous; sepals generally 4--5, generally fused at base, generally erect; petals generally 5, free, generally spreading; stamens generally 10, generally on disk, filaments often with a basal scale; pistils 1--8, ovaries superior, 1--2-chambered, 1-ovuled [if pistil 1, chambers generally 2--5, 1-ovuled], styles free or partly fused. Fruit: winged achenes or drupes [berry, nut], in clusters [not].
Genera In Family: 22 genera, 100 species: tropics, warm temperate; some cultivated. Note: Bark, leaves used traditionally to treat malaria, other ailments.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: CastelaView Description 

Leaf: linear to lanceolate on young stems, scale-like on mature. Flower: calyx lobes 4--8; petals 4--8; stamens 8--24; ovaries 4--8, adherent near middle, style bases fused, tips spreading. Fruit: dry, 4--8, spreading.
Species In Genus: +- 15 species: southwestern and south-central United States, to South America. Etymology: (René R.L. Castel, French botanist, poet, editor, opera librettist, 1759--1832) Note: Holacantha still recognized by some (e.g., Clayton et al. 2007).
Unabridged Reference: Moran & Felger 1968 Trans San Diego Soc Nat Hist 15:31--40
Castela emoryi (A. Gray) Moran & Felger
Habit: Plant often < 1 m, occasionally to 4+ m, intricately branched; young parts densely puberulent. Leaf: ephemeral, rarely seen. Inflorescence: panicle, much-branched, 2.5--5 cm, stiff. Flower: 6--8 mm diam. Fruit: +- 6 mm, flat-topped; base +- rounded, sometimes persisting several years. Seed: 1.
Ecology: Dry, gravelly washes, slopes, plains; Elevation: +- 650 m. Bioregional Distribution: s DMoj (exc DMtns), DSon; Distribution Outside California: Arizona, northwestern Mexico. Flowering Time: Jun--Jul Note: Common name used for 2 other desert pls.
Unabridged Synonyms: Holacantha emoryi A. Gray
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Castela
Next taxon: Simmondsiaceae

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Botanical illustration including Castela emoryi

botanical illustration including Castela emoryi


Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Elizabeth McClintock 2012, Castela emoryi, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=18147, accessed on August 06, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 06, 2020.

Castela emoryi
click for enlargement
© 2003 Michael Charters
Castela emoryi
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© 2010 Neal Kramer
Castela emoryi
click for enlargement
© Bob Patterson and CNPS
Castela emoryi
click for enlargement
© 2010 Neal Kramer
Castela emoryi
click for enlargement
© 2012 James M. Andre
Castela emoryi
click for enlargement
© Bob Patterson and CNPS

More photos of Castela emoryi in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Castela emoryi:
s DMoj (exc DMtns), DSon
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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).


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Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
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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).