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Vascular Plants of California
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Malephora crocea

Higher Taxonomy
Family: AizoaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, shrub, generally fleshy. Stem: underground to erect; root fibrous or tuberous. Leaf: generally simple, entire, flat, cylindric, 3-angled, or scale-like, generally cauline, generally opposite; stipules generally 0; blade papillate, pubescent, or generally glabrous, often glaucous. Inflorescence: cyme or 1-flowered, generally terminal. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium present; sepals (3)5(8), often unequal; petals 0 or many in several whorls, free or fused at base, linear; stamens 1--many, free or fused in groups, outer often petal-like; nectary a ring or separate glands; pistil 1, ovary superior to inferior, chambers 1--20, placentas generally parietal, styles 0--20. Fruit: berry, nut, or generally capsule, opening by flaps or circumscissile. Seed: 1--many per chamber, generally ovoid, arilled or not.
Genera In Family: 130 genera, 2500 species: generally subtropics, especially southern Africa; many cultivated. Note: Galenia pubescens (Eckl. & Zeyh.) Druce, a waif, may be naturalizing in southern California.
Unabridged Note: Disphyma crassifolium (L.) L. Bolus (ovary glands convex, minute-crenate; stigmas dense-plumose; fruit chambers 5; seeds ovate, +- smooth), of tribe Ruschieae, an historical waif in California; Lampranthus coccineus (Haw.) N.E. Br.: (ovary glands fused; fruit chambers 5; seeds pear-shaped, +- black, rough), of Ruschieae, an historical waif or urban weed in California.
eFlora Treatment Author: Nancy J. Vivrette, John Bleck & Wayne R. Ferren, Jr., family description, key to genera
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: MalephoraView Description 

Habit: Perennial herb, shrub. Stem: prostrate [to erect]. Leaf: opposite, +- fused at base, +- triangular [to +- round] in ×-section, smooth, often glaucous. Inflorescence: 1-flowered (or cyme). Flower: < 5 cm diam; sepals 4--6, unequal; petals free; stamens many in several whorls; nectary a ring; ovary +- inferior, top flat, placentas parietal, styles 0, stigmas wide, feathery. Fruit: capsule, valves not separating; valve winged and with lids. Seed: flat, rough, with tubercles in rows.
Species In Genus: 15 species: southern Africa. Etymology: (Greek: armhole, to bear)
eFlora Treatment Author: John Bleck
Malephora crocea (Jacq.) Schwantes
Stem: stout, pale, corky; nodes often rooting. Leaf: on short shoots, 2.5--6 cm, 6 mm wide, +- linear-elliptic or -oblanceolate, pale glaucous-green, sometimes +- red. Inflorescence: pedicel 1--6 cm. Flower: calyx 0.8--1.5 cm diam, at least 2 sepals short, acuminate, with translucent margins; petals adaxially orange, abaxially purple, or entirely yellow or orange; outer stamens sterile, yellow, petal-like, inner erect, often hairy at base; ovary chambers 8(12), stigmas 8(12), feathery. Fruit: placental tubercles at outer margin of chamber, in adaxial seed pockets, 2-lobed. Seed: many, 1 mm, 0.8 mm wide, lenticular. Chromosomes: 2n=27,36.
Ecology: Common. Margins of wetlands, coastal bluffs; Elevation: < 50 m. Bioregional Distribution: CCo, SCo, s ChI; Distribution Outside California: native to southern Africa. Flowering Time: Mar--Dec Note: +- invasive.
Synonyms: Malephora purpureo-crocea (Haw.) Schwantes
Unabridged Note: Although petals of most naturalized California plants have some purple (generally abaxially), some are entirely yellow or orange. California plants may be assignable to Malephora purpureo-crocea (Haw.) Schwantes, sometimes segregated.
Jepson eFlora Author: John Bleck
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: John Bleck 2012, Malephora crocea, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 27, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 27, 2022.

Malephora crocea
click for enlargement
© 2011 Neal Kramer
Malephora crocea
click for enlargement
© 2011 Neal Kramer
Malephora crocea
click for enlargement
© 2011 Neal Kramer
Malephora crocea
click for enlargement
© 2011 Neal Kramer
Malephora crocea
click for enlargement
© 2011 Neal Kramer

More photos of Malephora crocea in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Malephora crocea:
CCo, SCo, s ChI
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).