Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Crucianella angustifolia

Higher Taxonomy
Family: RubiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to tree, vine. Leaf: generally opposite (whorled), entire; stipules generally fused to stem, adjacent pairs occasionally fused, or occasionally leaf-like and appearing like whorled leaves. Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, spike, cluster, or flower 1, generally terminal and +- axillary. Flower: generally bisexual; calyx +- 4(5)-lobed, occasionally 0 (Galium, Crucianella) or 6 (Sherardia); corolla generally radial, 4(5)-lobed; stamens epipetalous, alternate corolla lobes, generally included; ovary generally inferior, chambers generally 2 or 4, style 1(2). Fruit: drupe, berry, or 2 or 4 nutlets [capsule].
Genera In Family: +- 500 genera, 6000 species: worldwide, especially tropics; many cultivated, including Coffea, coffee; Cinchona, quinine; many ornamental. Note: Diodia teres Walter doubtfully in California.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Lauramay T. Dempster, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: CrucianellaView Description 

Common Name: CROSS-WORT
Habit: Annual. Leaf: whorled, opposite in inflorescence. Inflorescence: spike; bracts overlapping, 3 per flower. Flower: calyx 0; corolla tubular, lobes 4--5, erect; style divided distally, stigmas spheric. Fruit: nutlets 2, wider distally.
Etymology: (Latin: little cross, presumably from corolla lobes)
Crucianella angustifolia L.
Habit: Plant erect or +- decumbent. Stem: 12--30 cm, 4-angled. Leaf: in whorls of 4, 8--25 mm, linear. Inflorescence: 2.5--7.5 cm, dense, narrow, 4-angled, +- grass-like; bracts scarious, rib green, tip sharp. Flower: corolla white or yellow. Fruit: glabrous. Chromosomes: 2n=22.
Ecology: Disturbed areas in grassland, foothill woodland, yellow-pine forest; Elevation: 30--1100 m. Bioregional Distribution: s KR, NCoRI, s CaR, n SN, e ScV, SCoRO; Distribution Outside California: Idaho; native to Europe. Flowering Time: Apr--Jun
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert E. Preston & Lauramay T. Dempster
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Crucianella angustifolia

botanical illustration including Crucianella angustifolia

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Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Lauramay T. Dempster 2012, Crucianella angustifolia, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on March 02, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on March 02, 2024.

Crucianella angustifolia
click for enlargement
©2010 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Crucianella angustifolia
click for enlargement
©2010 Julie Kierstead Nelson

More photos of Crucianella angustifolia
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Crucianella angustifolia:
s KR, NCoRI, s CaR, n SN, e ScV, SCoRO
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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).