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Vascular Plants of California
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Harpagonella palmeri

Higher Taxonomy
Family: BoraginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, or shrub, often bristly or sharp-hairy. Stem: prostrate-decumbent to erect. Leaf: basal and/or cauline, simple, generally alternate, sometimes opposite, especially at base. Inflorescence: cymes, arranged singly or in groups of 2--5, generally coiled in flower, generally elongating in fruit. Flower: bisexual, generally radial; sepals 5, free or fused at least at base; corolla 5-lobed, salverform, funnel-shaped, rotate, or bell-shaped, appendages (often called "fornices") 0 or 5 at top of tube, when present often differentially pigmented, alternate stamens; stamens epipetalous; ovary superior, 4-lobed, style 1, entire or minutely 2-lobed (2-branched). Fruit: nutlets 1--4, when > 1, all similar (often called "homomorphic") or 1 or 2 dissimilar in size and/or shape from the others (often called "heteromorphic"), free (fused), smooth to roughened, prickly or bristly or not.
Genera In Family: +- 90 genera, +- 1600--1700 species: mostly temperate, especially western North America, Mediterranean; some cultivated (Borago, Echium, Myosotis, Symphytum). Toxicity: Many genera may be TOXIC from pyrrolizidine alkaloids or accumulated nitrates. Note: Sometimes still treated in broader sense of TJM2 (e.g., APG IV 2016 Bot J Linn Soc 181:1--20), but recent evidence (Luebert et al. 2016) supports segregation, for our flora, of the families Ehretiaceae, Heliotropiaceae, Hydrophyllaceae, Lennoaceae, and Namaceae.
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael G. Simpson, C. Matt Guilliams, Kristen Hasenstab-Lehman & Ronald B. Kelley
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin, C. Matt Guilliams, Kristen Hasenstab-Lehman, David J. Keil, Ronald B. Kelley, Robert W. Patterson, Thomas J. Rosatti & Michael G. Simpson
Genus: HarpagonellaView Description 

Stem: ascending to erect, 3--30 cm. Inflorescence: pedicels in fruit 0.5--1 mm, twisted. Flower: calyx > nutlets, upper 2 lobes >> others, partly fused, arched over 1 nutlet, +- bur-like, with 5--10 stout prickles, each barbed distally or +- throughout, lower 3 lobes distinct; corolla +- 1 mm diam, +- funnel-shaped, white. Fruit: nutlets 2, 1--4 mm, dissimilar, +- oblanceolate, margins entire.
Etymology: (Latin: small grappling hook, from appearance of fruit) Note: Most closely related to Pectocarya or to Pectocarya plus Gruvelia based on molecular phylogenetic analyses (Guilliams 2015; Simpson et al. 2017).
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald B. Kelley, Timothy C. Messick, & C. Matt Guilliams
Unabridged Reference: Veno 1979 Ph.D. Dissertation Univ of California, Los Angeles; Guilliams 2015 Ph.D. Dissertation Univ CA Berkeley; Simpson et al. 2017 Taxon 66:1406--1420
Harpagonella palmeri A. Gray
Fruit: 3.0--5.9 mm, 3.5--6.5 mm wide, prickles 1.5--3.2 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=24.
Ecology: Open sites in chaparral, coastal scrub, grassland, often on clay soils; Elevation: < 1000 m. Bioregional Distribution: SCo, PR, sw DSon, s ChI (Santa Catalina Island); Distribution Outside California: northern Baja California. Flowering Time: Jan--May
Jepson eFlora Author: Ronald B. Kelley, Timothy C. Messick, & C. Matt Guilliams
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Harpagonella palmeri

botanical illustration including Harpagonella palmeri

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Citation for this treatment: Ronald B. Kelley, Timothy C. Messick, & C. Matt Guilliams 2021, Harpagonella palmeri, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 9,, accessed on April 12, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 12, 2024.

Harpagonella palmeri
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©2015 Keir Morse
Harpagonella palmeri
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©2015 Keir Morse
Harpagonella palmeri
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©2011 Steve Matson
Harpagonella palmeri
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©2015 Keir Morse
Harpagonella palmeri
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©2009 Christopher L. Christie

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Geographic subdivisions for Harpagonella palmeri:
SCo, PR, sw DSon, s ChI (Santa Catalina Island)
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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).