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Vascular Plants of California
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Phyla nodiflora

Higher Taxonomy
Family: VerbenaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to shrub [tree], generally hairy. Leaf: cauline, opposite, generally toothed; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, spike, or head, generally elongated in fruit; bract generally 1 per flower. Flower: bisexual; calyx generally 4--5-toothed; corolla 4--5-lobed, radial to bilateral, salverform to 2-lipped; stamens 4--5 (if 4, generally in unequal pairs), epipetalous; ovary superior, 2- or 4-lobed, generally 2- chambered, style 1, often with 2 unequal lobes, only 1 stigmatic, lateral. Fruit: 2 or 4 nutlets, drupe-like, or capsule.
Genera In Family: +- 31 genera, +- 920 species: especially American tropics. Some cultivated (Lantana, Verbena, Vitex); some weedy worldwide (Lantana); some used for wood (Tectona, teak). Avicennia included in Acanthaceae.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dieter H. Wilken
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: PhylaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, generally mat-like. Stem: central generally stolon-like; branches decumbent to erect, glabrous or +- strigose. Leaf: opposite or clustered, strigose to appressed-hairy; hairs forked. Inflorescence: spike, +- spheric, becoming cylindric in fruit, dense; bracts ovate to wedge-shaped. Flower: calyx +- compressed, 2--4-toothed; corolla +- 2-lipped, tube generally > calyx; stamens 4; ovary 2-chambered, ovules 2, style lobes 2, stigma lateral. Fruit: nutlets 2.
Etymology: (Greek: clan or tribe, from clustered flowers)
Phyla nodiflora (L.) Greene
Stem: internodes generally < 4 cm; branches generally < 15 cm. Leaf: blade 5--30 mm, margin +- entire or generally serrate from mid-blade to tip. Inflorescence: 6--10 mm; peduncle 1.5--9 cm. Flower: corolla white to +- red. Chromosomes: 2n=36.
Ecology: Wet places, pond margins; Elevation: < 400 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW (exc KR, NCoRH), GV, CCo, SnFrB, SCo, ChI (Santa Cruz, Santa Catalina islands), PR, se DMoj, DSon; Distribution Outside California: warm temperate, tropics +- worldwide. Flowering Time: May--Nov Note: Questionably native; variation in leaf margin, leaf hairiness may reflect multiple introductions from elsewhere, including South America.
Synonyms: Phyla nodiflora var. canescens (Kunth) Moldenke; Phyla nodiflora var. incisa (Small) Moldenke; Phyla nodiflora var. reptans (Kunth) Moldenke; Phyla nodiflora var. rosea (D. Don) Moldenke
Jepson eFlora Author: Dieter H. Wilken
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Phyla lanceolata
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Botanical illustration including Phyla nodiflora

botanical illustration including Phyla nodiflora

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Citation for this treatment: Dieter H. Wilken 2012, Phyla nodiflora, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 28, 2023.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2023, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 28, 2023.

Phyla nodiflora
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©2009 Keir Morse
Phyla nodiflora
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©2007 Neal Kramer
Phyla nodiflora
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©2015 Barry Breckling
Phyla nodiflora
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©2016 Neal Kramer
Phyla nodiflora
click for enlargement
©2015 Barry Breckling

More photos of Phyla nodiflora
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Phyla nodiflora:
NW (exc KR, NCoRH), GV, CCo, SnFrB, SCo, ChI (Santa Cruz, Santa Catalina islands), PR, se DMoj, DSon
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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).