Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Hesperocnide tenella

Higher Taxonomy
Family: UrticaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual, perennial herb [to shrub, soft-wooded tree], hairs stinging and not [glabrous]; monoecious or dioecious; wind-pollinated. Leaf: alternate or opposite, generally stipuled, petioled, blade often with translucent, raised dots due to crystals in epidermal cells. Inflorescence: axillary, 1-flowered or head-, raceme-, or panicle-like. Flower: generally unisexual, small, +- green; sepals generally 4--5, free to fused; petals 0. Staminate Flower: stamens generally 4--5, opposite sepals, incurved in bud, reflexing suddenly when flower opens. Pistillate Flower: ovary 1, superior, chamber 1, style 0--1, stigma 1, generally hair-tufted. Fruit: generally achene.
Genera In Family: 50 genera, 700 species: worldwide; some cultivated (Boehmeria, ramie; Pilea, clearweed).
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Dennis W. Woodland
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: HesperocnideView Description 

Habit: Annual, erect, slender, stinging hairs present; monoecious. Leaf: opposite, toothed. Inflorescence: generally head-like, of both staminate, pistillate flowers. Staminate Flower: sepals 4, +- free; stamens 4. Pistillate Flower: sepals 2--4, +- equal, fused +- to tip. Fruit: lenticular, enclosed by ovate, sac-like, membranous calyx.
Species In Genus: 2 species: California, Baja California, Hawaii. Etymology: (Greek: western nettle)
Unabridged Reference: Woodland et al. 1976 Canad J Bot 54:374--383
Hesperocnide tenella Torr.
Stem: < 5 dm. Leaf: 4--40 mm, ovate, thin, blunt-serrate; stipules small; petiole +- < blade, slender; crystals generally elongate, rounder in fully exposed pls. Inflorescence: < petiole, +- spheric. Flower: calyx 1--1.5 mm. Fruit: ovate.
Ecology: Moist, shaded areas, often at base of rocks or shrubs, in chaparral, coastal scrub, riparian woodland, mesic oak woodland; Elevation: < 1200 m. Bioregional Distribution: CW, SW (uncommon NCo, NCoRI, SNF); Distribution Outside California: northern Baja California. Flowering Time: Feb--Jun
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert E. Preston & Dennis W. Woodland
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Hesperocnide tenella

botanical illustration including Hesperocnide tenella


Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Dennis W. Woodland 2012, Hesperocnide tenella, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=28033, accessed on February 22, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 22, 2020.

Hesperocnide tenella
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© 2003 Michael Charters
Hesperocnide tenella
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Hesperocnide tenella
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© 2018 Neal Kramer
Hesperocnide tenella
click for enlargement
© 2009 Keir Morse
Hesperocnide tenella
click for enlargement
© 2006 Steve Matson
Hesperocnide tenella
click for enlargement
© 2006 Steve Matson

More photos of Hesperocnide tenella in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Hesperocnide tenella:
CW, SW (uncommon NCo, NCoRI, SNF)
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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).