Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M |
| N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon

Justicia californica

Higher Taxonomy
Family: AcanthaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: [Annual, perennial herb to] shrub, [tree], nodes generally swollen. Leaf: simple, generally opposite, entire (toothed [lobed]); stipules 0. Inflorescence: variable, with bracts, generally also bractlets. Flower: bisexual; calyx deeply (3)4--5 lobed [(sepals free)]; corolla 4--5 lobed, radial to 2-lipped; stamens 2 or 4, epipetalous, anther sacs sometimes dissimilar in size or placement; ovary superior, 4--many-ovuled, chambers 1--2, placentas axile (free central), stigmas 1--2. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal, generally dehiscing explosively, valves 2. Seed: 1--4[+], each generally subtended by hook-like outgrowth that remains in fruit.
Genera In Family: 220 genera, 4000 species: especially tropics; some ornamental: Justicia (Beloperone, shrimp-plant), Acanthus, Thunbergia.
eFlora Treatment Author: Thomas F. Daniel, Margriet Wetherwax & Lawrence R. Heckard, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: JusticiaView Description 

Habit: [Annual, perennial herb] shrub. Inflorescence: generally raceme [variable]. Flower: corolla 2-lipped, tube generally >= lips, wider upward, upper lip notched or 2-lobed, lower 3-lobed; stamens 2, generally appressed to upper lip, anther sacs unequally placed on filament, opening toward lower lip, lower sac spurred. Fruit: club-shaped; stalk +- flat. Seed: 4, outlined on fruit surface [or not].
Etymology: (James Justice, Scottish horticulturist, 1698--1763)
Reference: Graham 1988 Kew Bull 43:551--624
Justicia californica (Benth.) D.N. Gibson
Stem: < 2 m, generally leafless in flower, canescent. Leaf: blade 1--6 cm, ovate, triangular, or +- round, puberulent; petiole < 20 mm. Inflorescence: bracts < 1 cm, lance-elliptic, falling early; bractlets 2--5 mm, narrow-tapered. Flower: calyx 5--8 mm, lobes 5, lanceolate; corolla 2--4 cm, puberulent, dull scarlet (yellow), lips 1--2 cm, < tube, lobes of lower 1--4 mm. Fruit: 1.5--2 cm, canescent. Seed: 2.5--3.5 mm, +- round, mottled. Chromosomes: 2n=28.
Ecology: Dry sandy or rocky soils, especially washes; Elevation: < 950 m. Bioregional Distribution: e PR, D (exc DMtns); Distribution Outside California: Arizona, northwestern Mexico. Flowering Time: Mar--Jun
Synonyms: Beloperone californica Benth.
Jepson eFlora Author: Thomas F. Daniel, Margriet Wetherwax & Lawrence R. Heckard
Reference: Graham 1988 Kew Bull 43:551--624
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Justicia
Next taxon: Aizoaceae

Name Search

Jepson Video for Justicia californica

Click to watch the video.

Botanical illustration including Justicia californica

botanical illustration including Justicia californica

Please use this Google Form for Contact/Feedback

Citation for this treatment: Thomas F. Daniel, Margriet Wetherwax & Lawrence R. Heckard 2012, Justicia californica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 13, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 13, 2024.

Justicia californica
click for enlargement
©2012 Keir Morse
Justicia californica
click for enlargement
©2013 California Academy of Sciences
Justicia californica
click for enlargement
©2010 Neal Kramer
Justicia californica
click for enlargement
©2012 Gary A. Monroe
Justicia californica
click for enlargement
©2012 Keir Morse

More photos of Justicia californica
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Justicia californica:
e PR, D (exc DMtns)
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
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).