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Vascular Plants of California
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Conicosia pugioniformis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: AizoaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, shrub, generally fleshy. Stem: underground to erect; root fibrous or tuberous. Leaf: generally simple, entire, flat, cylindric, 3-angled, or scale-like, generally cauline, generally opposite; stipules generally 0; blade papillate, pubescent, or generally glabrous, often glaucous. Inflorescence: cyme or 1-flowered, generally terminal. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium present; sepals (3)5(8), often unequal; petals 0 or many in several whorls, free or fused at base, linear; stamens 1--many, free or fused in groups, outer often petal-like; nectary a ring or separate glands; pistil 1, ovary superior to inferior, chambers 1--20, placentas generally parietal, styles 0--20. Fruit: berry, nut, or generally capsule, opening by flaps or circumscissile. Seed: 1--many per chamber, generally ovoid, arilled or not.
Genera In Family: 130 genera, 2500 species: generally subtropics, especially southern Africa; many cultivated. Note: Galenia pubescens (Eckl. & Zeyh.) Druce, a waif, may be naturalizing in southern California.
Unabridged Note: Disphyma crassifolium (L.) L. Bolus (ovary glands convex, minute-crenate; stigmas dense-plumose; fruit chambers 5; seeds ovate, +- smooth), of tribe Ruschieae, an historical waif in California; Lampranthus coccineus (Haw.) N.E. Br.: (ovary glands fused; fruit chambers 5; seeds pear-shaped, +- black, rough), of Ruschieae, an historical waif or urban weed in California.
eFlora Treatment Author: Nancy J. Vivrette, John Bleck & Wayne R. Ferren, Jr., family description, key to genera
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: ConicosiaView Description 

Habit: Perennial herb, generally short-lived; roots diffuse or tuberous. Stem: caudex underground; annual shoots prostrate to ascending. Leaf: basal rosetted; cauline generally alternate, linear, +- triangular in ×-section. Inflorescence: 1-flowered, axillary; bracts 0. Flower: 5--13 cm diam; sepals 5, +- unequal, wider at base, tip cylindric, basal margins of inner 3 papery; petals free, linear, yellow, ciliate in basal 1/2; stamens many, base hairy; ovary +- inferior, chambers [8]10--20[22], thread-like, sessile. Fruit: capsule, opening by 10--20 flaps at conic top that do not spread when moistened, valves 10--20, separating, dehiscing tardily. Seed: spheric, smooth.
Species In Genus: 2 species: southern Africa. Etymology: (Greek: cone-shaped)
eFlora Treatment Author: John Bleck
Conicosia pugioniformis (L.) N.E. Br.
Stem: caudex 1, < 30 cm, 1--2 cm diam. Leaf: cauline crowded toward stem tip, 15--20 cm, 10--12 mm wide, gray-green, glabrous, adaxially grooved or flat. Inflorescence: pedicel < 12 cm. Flower: 5--8 cm diam, shiny yellow, lasting several days; odor unpleasant. Seed: 1.5--1.8 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=18.
Ecology: Uncommon. Sandy places, especially coastal dunes; Elevation: < 100 m. Bioregional Distribution: CCo; Distribution Outside California: native to southern Africa. Flowering Time: May--Oct
Synonyms: Mesembryanthemum pugioniforme L.
Jepson eFlora Author: John Bleck
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Weed listed by Cal-IPC

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Botanical illustration including Conicosia pugioniformis

botanical illustration including Conicosia pugioniformis


Citation for this treatment: John Bleck 2012, Conicosia pugioniformis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 25, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 25, 2022.

Conicosia pugioniformis
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© 2011 Neal Kramer
Conicosia pugioniformis
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© 2012 Gary A. Monroe
Conicosia pugioniformis
click for enlargement
© 2011 Neal Kramer
Conicosia pugioniformis
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© 2011 Neal Kramer
Conicosia pugioniformis
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© 2014 Neal Kramer
Conicosia pugioniformis
click for enlargement
© 2011 Neal Kramer

More photos of Conicosia pugioniformis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Conicosia pugioniformis:
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).