Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Frankenia salina


Higher Taxonomy
Family: FrankeniaceaeView Description 

Genera In Family: 1 genus.
eFlora Treatment Author: Carrie Kiel & R. John Little
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: FrankeniaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: FRANKENIA
Habit: (Annual) [perennial herb] to shrub, generally with rhizome; glands salt-secreting. Stem: prostrate to erect, nodes swollen, generally rooting. Leaf: opposite, 4-ranked, united by a single sheath, +- clustered, simple, 1--15 mm, salt-encrusted, generally persistent; blade obovate to oblong-oblanceolate or elliptic, generally leathery or fleshy, glabrous to hairy, margin entire, rolled under; stipules 0. Inflorescence: generally cyme, axillary. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; calyx persistent, sepals 4--7, fused, ribbed; petals 4--7, free, white to pink or blue-purple, overlapping, clawed, with adaxial scale-like appendage near base; stamens 3--12(25), 2-whorled, outer whorl shorter; ovary superior, chambers 1--4, styles 1--4, exserted, ovules 1--many. Fruit: loculicidal capsule within persistent calyx. Seed: 1--many, ivory to gold-brown.
Etymology: (Johann Frankenius, 1590--1661, Swedish botanist)
Reference: Whalen 1987 Syst Bot Monogr 17:1--93
Frankenia salina (Molina) I.M. Johnst.
Habit: Matted subshrub < 3 m diam. Stem: +- prostrate, 1--6 dm, glabrous to hairy. Leaf: blade 4--15 mm, 1--6 mm wide, margins not strongly thickened, weakly rolled under, leathery, abaxially glabrous to sparsely hairy. Inflorescence: 1 to cymose in upper axils. Flower: calyx tube 4--9 mm; petals 6--14 mm, white to pink or blue-purple; stamens generally 6, 5--12 mm; styles 3(4). Fruit: 3--5 mm. Seed: 1--20, 1--1.5 mm, +- ellipsoid.
Ecology: Salt marshes, alkali flats; Elevation: < 750 m. Bioregional Distribution: GV, CCo, SCo, ChI, SNE, DMoj; Distribution Outside California: to Nevada, Mexico, South America. Flowering Time: Apr--Sep
Synonyms: Frankenia grandifolia Cham. & Schltdl.; Frankenia grandifolia var. campestris A. Gray; Ocimum salinum Molina
Jepson eFlora Author: Carrie Kiel & R. John Little
Reference: Whalen 1987 Syst Bot Monogr 17:1--93
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Frankenia pulverulenta
Next taxon: Garryaceae

Botanical illustration including Frankenia salinabotanical illustration including Frankenia salina

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Citation for this treatment: Carrie Kiel & R. John Little 2012, Frankenia salina, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 15, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 15, 2024.

Frankenia salina
click for image enlargement
©2006 Steve Matson
Frankenia salina
click for image enlargement
©2015 Keir Morse
Frankenia salina
click for image enlargement
©2009 Neal Kramer
Frankenia salina
click for image enlargement
©2006 Steve Matson
Frankenia salina
click for image enlargement
©2015 Keir Morse

More photos of Frankenia salina
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Frankenia salina:
GV, CCo, SCo, ChI, SNE, DMoj
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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 occurrence).


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 Flowering-Fruiting Monthly Counts

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).