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Vascular Plants of California
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Mucronea californica

Higher Taxonomy
Family: PolygonaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to shrub [tree]. Stem: nodes swollen or not. Leaf: simple, basal or cauline, generally alternate; ocreae present or 0, generally scarious, persistent or not. Inflorescence: flower clusters in axillary to terminal cyme-, panicle-, raceme-, spike-, umbel- or head-like arrangements, entire inflorescence or main inflorescence branches generally subtended by bracts ("inflorescence bracts"); peduncles present or 0; flower clusters in Eriogoneae-Eriogonoideae subtended by involucre of >= 1 free or +- fused, sometimes awn-tipped bracts ("involucre bracts") or, in Polygonoideae and rarely in Eriogonoideae, not (if bracts completely fused, involucre "tubular"); pedicels in Eriogoneae each often subtended by 2 free, transparent, linear bractlets or in Polygonoideae all subtended by 2+ fused, membranous, wide bractlets. Flower: generally bisexual, small, 1--200 per node; perianth parts 2--6, generally in 2 whorls, free or basally fused, generally petal-like, often +- concave adaxially, often darker at midvein, often turning +- red or +- brown in age; stamens [1]3 or 6--9 in 2 whorls; ovary superior, 1-chambered, ovule 1, styles 1--3. Fruit: achenes, included in or exserted from perianth, generally 3-angled, ovoid or elliptic, generally glabrous.
Genera In Family: 48 genera, +- 1200 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate; some cultivated for food (Coccoloba, sea-grape; Fagopyrum, Rheum, Rumex) or ornamental (Antigonon, lovechain; Coccoloba; Muehlenbeckia; Persicaria; Polygonum), a few timbered (Coccoloba; Triplaris). Several (Emex; Fallopia; Persicaria; Polygonum; Rumex) are weeds. Note: Treatment of genera in Eriogonoideae based on monographic work of James L. Reveal. Involucre number throughout is number (1--many) per ultimate grouping, at tips of ultimate branches; flower number is per flower cluster or involucre, unless otherwise stated. Fagopyrum esculentum Moench not naturalized, considered an historical waif (or garden weed +- presently), therefore not treated.
eFlora Treatment Author: Mihai Costea, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: MucroneaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, erect to spreading, glandular-hairy. Leaf: basal; blades entire, generally narrow, awns 0; ocreae 0. Inflorescence: terminal, cyme-like; bracts fused, on +- 1 side of or around node, awned; peduncles 0; involucres 1--3, (2)3--4-angled, tubular, occasionally swollen, teeth (2)3--4, unequal, awned. Flower: 1(2), hairy; perianth white to pink, lobes 6, entire or fringed; stamens 6 or 9. Fruit: generally elliptic, glabrous, brown to black; embryo straight.
Etymology: (Latin: sharp point, for awns of bracts, involucres)
eFlora Treatment Author: James L. Reveal & Thomas J. Rosatti
Mucronea californica Benth.
Habit: Plant (0.3)0.5--3(5) dm, 1--6(8) dm diam. Leaf: blades (0.5)1--5 cm, (0.1)0.2--0.8(1.2) cm wide. Inflorescence: lower bracts 3(5), fused 1/2, awns 1--2.5(3) mm; involucres (2)3(4)-angled, obscurely ribbed, not transversely ridged, not swollen, 2.5--5(7) mm. Flower: 1.5--2.5(3) mm, hairy basally; stamens 6--9. Fruit: 2--3 mm. Chromosomes: n=19.
Ecology: Sand; Elevation: < 1000 m. Bioregional Distribution: s CW, SW. Flowering Time: Mar--Aug
Synonyms: Chorizanthe californica (Benth.) A. Gray; Chorizanthe californica var. suksdorfii J.F. Macbr.; Mucronea californica var. suksdorfii (J.F. Macbr.) Goodman
Jepson eFlora Author: James L. Reveal & Thomas J. Rosatti
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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Botanical illustration including Mucronea californica

botanical illustration including Mucronea californica

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Citation for this treatment: James L. Reveal & Thomas J. Rosatti 2012, Mucronea californica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 02, 2023.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2023, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 02, 2023.

Mucronea californica
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©2011 Chris Winchell
Mucronea californica
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©2014 Neal Kramer
Mucronea californica
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©2011 Chris Winchell
Mucronea californica
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©2011 Chris Winchell
Mucronea californica
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©2011 Chris Winchell

More photos of Mucronea californica
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Geographic subdivisions for Mucronea californica:
s CW, SW.
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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).