Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Pholisma arenarium

Higher Taxonomy
Family: LennoaceaeView Description 
Habit: Annual, perennial, non-green root-parasite. Stem: actually a peduncle, fleshy, underground, generally unbranched, white or +- brown. Leaf: scale-like, alternate. Inflorescence: panicle, spike, or head. Flower: bisexual, +- radial; calyx lobes 4--10; corolla lobes 4--10; stamens as many as corolla lobes, epipetalous, incl; ovary superior, chambers 10--32, placentas axile, style 1, stigma lobes 5--9. Fruit: capsule, circumscissile, hidden by persistent perianth. Seed: in a ring, 1 per chamber, +- reniform, flat, brown.
Genera In Family: 2 genera, 4 spp.: sw US to n S.Am, nowhere common; some historically harvested for food. Note: A morphologically well-defined, monophyletic group, nested within Ehretiaceae in some molecular phylogenetic studies (Luebert et al. 2016); more data desired on its relationships.
eFlora Treatment Author: George Yatskievych
Genus: PholismaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, non-green, parasitic. Stem: < 1.5 m. Leaf: 5--25 mm, linear to triangular, glandular. Flower: 7--10 mm; ovary chambers 10--32. Fruit: capsule, +- circumscissile below middle.
Etymology: (Greek: scale, from scaly stem)
eFlora Treatment Author: George Yatskievych
Pholisma arenarium Nutt. ex Hook.
Stem: 3--8 dm, 1--2 cm diam. Flower: calyx lobes linear to spoon-shaped; corolla lavender to blue-purple, abaxially puberulent, margin white; ovary chambers 10--20. Chromosomes: 2n=36.
Ecology: Uncommon. Sandy soil, coastal dunes, chaparral, desert; Elevation: < 1900 m. Bioregional Distribution: CCo, SCo, PR, D; Distribution Outside California: western Arizona, northwestern Mexico. Flowering Time: Apr--Jul, Oct Note: Parasitic on Croton, Eriodictyon, various shrubby Asteraceae.
Jepson eFlora Author: George Yatskievych
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Next taxon: Pholisma sonorae

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Botanical illustration including Pholisma arenarium

botanical illustration including Pholisma arenarium

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Citation for this treatment: George Yatskievych 2021, Pholisma arenarium, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 9,, accessed on June 25, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 25, 2024.

Pholisma arenarium
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©2014 Neal Kramer
Pholisma arenarium
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©2015 Aaron Schusteff
Pholisma arenarium
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©2014 Keir Morse
Pholisma arenarium
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©2013 Keir Morse
Pholisma arenarium
click for enlargement
©2013 Keir Morse

More photos of Pholisma arenarium
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Pholisma arenarium:
CCo, SCo, PR, D
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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).