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Vascular Plants of California
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Physocarpus alternans

Higher Taxonomy
Family: RosaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Common Name: ROSE FAMILY
Habit: Annual to tree, glandular or not. Leaf: simple to palmately or pinnately compound, generally alternate; stipules free to fused (0), persistent to deciduous. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, cluster, or flowers 1; bractlets on pedicel ("pedicel bractlets") generally 0--3(many), subtended by bract or generally not. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium free or fused to ovary, saucer- to funnel-shaped, subtending bractlets ("hypanthium bractlets") 0--5, alternate sepals; sepals generally 5; petals generally 5, free; stamens (0,1)5--many, anther pollen sacs generally 2; pistils (0)1--many, simple or compound, ovary superior to inferior, styles 1--5. Fruit: 1--many per flower, achene (fleshy-coated or not), follicle, drupe, or pome with generally papery core, occasionally drupe-like with 1--5 stones. Seed: generally 1--5 (per fruit, not per flower).
Genera In Family: 110 genera, +- 3000 species: worldwide, especially temperate; many cultivated for ornamental, fruit, especially Cotoneaster, Fragaria, Malus, Prunus, Pyracantha, Rosa, Rubus. Note: Number of teeth is per leaf or leaflet, not per side of leaf or leaflet, except in Drymocallis.
eFlora Treatment Author: Daniel Potter & Barbara Ertter, family description, key to genera, treatment of genera by Daniel Potter, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Daniel Potter, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: PhysocarpusView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: NINEBARK
Habit: Shrub, generally +- stellate-hairy. Leaf: petioled, stipuled, deciduous, ovate to +- round, generally palmately 3--7-lobed, crenate to serrate. Inflorescence: umbel-like cluster, bracted; pedicel bractlets generally 0. Flower: hypanthium bell-shaped, bractlets 0; sepals persistent; petals rounded, white or pale pink; stamens 20--40, exserted; pistils 1--5, fused at base (if 3--5, fused below middle), ovary superior, style thread-like, stigma head-like. Fruit: follicles, inflated or +- flat, dehiscent along both sutures. Seed: 1--4, ovoid; coat hard, shiny.
Species In Genus: +- 6 species: North America, Asia. Etymology: (Greek: bladdery fruit)
eFlora Treatment Author: Sang-Hun Oh
Physocarpus alternans (M.E. Jones) J.T. Howell
Habit: Plant 5--15 dm. Leaf: generally densely hairy, lobes 3--7, shallow, generally crenate. Inflorescence: 10-flowered, densely hairy. Flower: hypanthium 1.7--3 mm, 3.2--5 mm wide at rim; sepals 1.8--3.3 mm; petals 2.5--3 mm; stamens 20--30, longest filament 1.3--2.5 mm. Fruit: 3--4.5 mm, densely hairy.
Ecology: Dry, rocky pinyon/juniper woodland, limestone outcrops; Elevation: 1800--3100 m. Bioregional Distribution: W&I, n DMtns; Distribution Outside California: to Idaho, Colorado, Utah. Flowering Time: Jun--Jul
Synonyms: Physocarpus alternans subsp. annulatus J.T. Howell; Physocarpus alternans subsp. panamintensis J.T. Howell
Jepson eFlora Author: Sang-Hun Oh
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 Physocarpus alternans

botanical illustration including Physocarpus alternans


Citation for this treatment: Sang-Hun Oh 2012, Physocarpus alternans, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=38128, accessed on February 19, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 19, 2020.

Physocarpus alternans
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson
Physocarpus alternans
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson
Physocarpus alternans
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson
Physocarpus alternans
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson
Physocarpus alternans
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson
Physocarpus alternans
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson

More photos of Physocarpus alternans in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Physocarpus alternans:
W&I, n DMtns
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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).


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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).