Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Gunnera tinctoria

Higher Taxonomy
Family: GunneraceaeView Description 
Habit: Perennial herb, often large, terrestrial [semi-aquatic]; rhizome often with large scales. Stem: +- 0. Leaf: simple, generally alternate, often large; stipules 0; blades < to > petioles, +- round to reniform or ovate, generally toothed or lobed. Inflorescence: panicle (generally spikes along 1° axis), terminal or from upper axils, large; flowers many, often pistillate below, staminate above, bisexual between. Flower: very small, unisexual or bisexual; sepals generally 2 [+- 0]; petals 2 [0]; stamens 1--2; ovary inferior, chamber 1, styles 2. Fruit: drupe.
Genera In Family: 1 genus, +- 35 species: Mexico, southern hemisphere, Hawaii; several cultivated. Rhizome scales previously interpreted as stipules.
eFlora Treatment Author: Livia Wanntorp & Elizabeth McClintock
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: GunneraView Description 

Etymology: (J.E. Gunner, Norwegian bishop, botanist, 1718--1773) Note: Plants obtain fixed nitrogen from cyanobacteria (Nostoc) living just under surface of rhizomes, roots, in the only such symbiosis in angiosperms.
Reference: Wanntorp & De Craene 2005 Int J Pl Sci 166:945--953
Gunnera tinctoria (Molina) Mirb.
Habit: Rhizome scales 10--20 cm, deeply cut. Leaf: covered with stiff, hard prickles; petiole 1--1.5 m; blade 1--2 m, +- round, +- concave abaxially, thick, rough, main lobes palmate, teeth irregular, veins prominent, especially abaxially. Inflorescence: arising +- from ground, 50--75[100] cm, < 10 cm wide, +- conic; spikes many, dense, 2--5 cm, stout; peduncle generally 2--20 cm. Flower: style < 1.2 mm, >= sepals. Fruit: many, 1--2 mm, +- red, ovate to oblong.
Ecology: Uncommon. Disturbed, shaded, damp areas; Elevation: < 100 m. Bioregional Distribution: CCo (Marin, San Francisco cos.); Distribution Outside California: native to Chile. Flowering Time: Jul--Oct Note: May spread aggressively by seeds, rhizomes.
Synonyms: Gunnera chilensis Lam.
Jepson eFlora Author: Livia Wanntorp & Elizabeth McClintock
Reference: Wanntorp & De Craene 2005 Int J Pl Sci 166:945--953
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
View the CDFA Pest Rating page for Gunnera tinctoria

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Citation for this treatment: Livia Wanntorp & Elizabeth McClintock 2012, Gunnera tinctoria, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 21, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 21, 2024.

No expert verified images found for Gunnera tinctoria.

Geographic subdivisions for Gunnera tinctoria:
CCo (Marin, San Francisco cos.)
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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).