Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Hemitomes congestum

Higher Taxonomy
Family: EricaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Perennial herb, shrub, tree. Stem: bark often peeling distinctively. Leaf: simple or 0, generally cauline, alternate, opposite (whorled), evergreen or deciduous, often leathery, petioled or not; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, cyme, or flowers 1, terminal or axillary, generally bracted; pedicel often with 2 bractlets. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial, bell-shaped, cylindric, or urn-shaped; sepals generally (0)4--5, generally free; petals generally (0)4--5, free or fused; stamens (2--5)8--10, free, filaments rarely appendaged, anthers dehiscing by pores or slits, awns 0 or 2(4), seemingly abaxial, reduced or elongate, generally curved; nectary generally present at ovary base, generally disk-like; ovary superior or inferior, chambers generally 1--5, placentas axile or parietal, ovules 1--many per chamber, style 1, stigma head- to funnel-like or lobed. Fruit: capsule, drupe, berry. Seed: generally many, winged or not.
Genera In Family: +- 100 genera, 3000 species: generally worldwide except deserts; some cultivated, especially Arbutus, Arctostaphylos, Rhododendron, Vaccinium. Note: Monophyletic only if Empetraceae included, as treated here. Ledum included in Rhododendron. Non-green plants obtain nutrition from green plants through fungal intermediates.
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Gary D. Wallace, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: HemitomesView Description 

Common Name: GNOME PLANT

Species In Genus: 1 sp. Etymology: (Greek: 1/2 eunuch, from 1 anther sac thought sterile)
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary D. Wallace
Hemitomes congestum A. Gray
Habit: Perennial herb, non-green, fleshy, generally glabrous, rhizomed; roots brittle. Stem: 0. Leaf: 0. Inflorescence: generally dense cyme, raceme, or flowers 1; 2--10 cm, generally pink, cream, emerging from ground erect, not persisting after seed dispersal; bracts < 2 cm, margins ciliate; bractlets generally 0(1--2). Flower: sepals (2)4, free, lateral 2 often folded, clasping corolla, other 2 flat if present; corolla cylindric to flask-shaped, inside densely hairy, petals 4(5), +- 2/3 fused, cream or generally pink; stamens generally 8, filaments densely hairy, anthers 1--2 mm, elongate, dehiscing by separate longitudinal slits, unawned; nectary 8--10-lobed; ovary superior, chamber 1 or appearing > 1 by intrusion of parietal placentas, style < 5 mm, hairy, stigma 1.5--2.5 mm wide, disk-like, yellow, subtended by dense hairs. Fruit: berry, < 1 cm. Seed: many, ovate.
Ecology: Uncommon. Mixed or conifer forests; Elevation: 30--2700 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, KR, NCoRO, CaRH, n&s SNH, CCo, SnFrB, SCoRO; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia. Flowering Time: May--Jul
Jepson eFlora Author: Gary D. Wallace
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Hemitomes congestum

botanical illustration including Hemitomes congestum


Citation for this treatment: Gary D. Wallace 2012, Hemitomes congestum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=27977, accessed on February 26, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 26, 2020.

No expert verified images found for Hemitomes congestum.

Geographic subdivisions for Hemitomes congestum:
NCo, KR, NCoRO, CaRH, n&s SNH, CCo, SnFrB, 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).


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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).