Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Fagonia laevis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: ZygophyllaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, shrub, often armed; caudex present or not. Stem: branched; nodes often angled, swollen. Leaf: 1-compound, opposite, petioled; stipules persistent or not; leaflets entire. Inflorescence: flowers 1--2 in axils. Flower: bisexual; sepals 5, free, persistent or not; petals 5, free, generally spreading, twisted (corolla propeller-like) or not; stamens 10, appendaged on inside base or not; ovary superior, chambers (and lobes) 5--10, each with 1--several ovules, placentas axile. Fruit: capsule or splitting into 5--10 nutlets (= mericarps).
Genera In Family: 27 genera, +- 250 species: widespread especially in warm, dry regions; some cultivated (Guaiacum, lignum vitae; Tribulus, caltrop).
eFlora Treatment Author: Duncan M. Porter
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: FagoniaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, shrub. Stem: < 1 m, spreading, angled or ridged. Leaf: palmately compound; stipules stiff, spine-tipped; leaflets 3, spine-tipped, terminal largest. Inflorescence: flowers 1 in axils. Flower: sepals deciduous; petals clawed, twisted, purple to pink, deciduous. Fruit: capsule, deeply 5-lobed, obovoid, loculicidal; style persistent; pedicel reflexed. Seed: 1 per chamber.
Species In Genus: 35 species: southwestern North America, southwestern South America, Canary I. and Cape Verde I. to Afghanistan and India, southwestern Africa. Etymology: (Guy-Crescent Fagon, French botanist, chemist, physician to Louis XIV, 1638--1718)
Reference: Beier 2005 Syst Biodivers 3:221--263
Fagonia laevis Standl.
Habit: Shrub < 1 m, intricately branched. Leaf: leaflets 3--9 mm, generally < petiole, 1--4 mm wide. Flower: +- 1 cm wide. Fruit: 4--5 mm wide, minutely strigose or hairy, rarely glandular or glabrous; style 1--2 mm, wider at base.
Ecology: Rocky hillsides, sandy washes; Elevation: < 1200 m. Bioregional Distribution: D; Distribution Outside California: to southwestern Utah, northwestern Mexico. Flowering Time: Mar--May, Nov--Jan Note: Further study needed to determine if Fagonia longipes Standl. [Fagonia californica Benth. subsp. longipes (Standl.) Felger & C.H. Lowe] (minute, glandular hairs on fruits) represents a distinct evolutionary lineage.
Synonyms: Fagonia californica Benth. subsp. laevis (Standl.) Wiggins
Jepson eFlora Author: Duncan M. Porter
Reference: Beier 2005 Syst Biodivers 3:221--263
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Fagonia laevis

botanical illustration including Fagonia laevis


Citation for this treatment: Duncan M. Porter 2012, Fagonia laevis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 29, 2021.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2021, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 29, 2021.

Fagonia laevis
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© 2011 Neal Kramer
Fagonia laevis
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© 2016 Steve Matson
Fagonia laevis
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© 2012 Keir Morse
Fagonia laevis
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© 2011 Neal Kramer
Fagonia laevis
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© 2008 Aaron Schusteff
Fagonia laevis
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© 2010 California Academy of Sciences

More photos of Fagonia laevis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Fagonia laevis:
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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).