Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Sherardia arvensis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: RubiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to tree, vine. Leaf: generally opposite (whorled), entire; stipules generally fused to stem, adjacent pairs occasionally fused, or occasionally leaf-like and appearing like whorled leaves. Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, spike, cluster, or flower 1, generally terminal and +- axillary. Flower: generally bisexual; calyx +- 4(5)-lobed, occasionally 0 (Galium, Crucianella) or 6 (Sherardia); corolla generally radial, 4(5)-lobed; stamens epipetalous, alternate corolla lobes, generally included; ovary generally inferior, chambers generally 2 or 4, style 1(2). Fruit: drupe, berry, or 2 or 4 nutlets [capsule].
Genera In Family: +- 500 genera, 6000 species: worldwide, especially tropics; many cultivated, including Coffea, coffee; Cinchona, quinine; many ornamental. Note: Diodia teres Walter doubtfully in California.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & Lauramay T. Dempster, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: SherardiaView Description 

Etymology: (Wm. Sherard, Dillenius' patron, John Ray's friend, 1659--1728)
Sherardia arvensis L.
Habit: Annual, matted. Stem: decumbent, generally many-branched at base, 7--16 cm, 4-angled. Leaf: whorls of 5--6; 4--13 mm, lanceolate or oblanceolate, margin thick, tip acute or weak-spined, stipules leaf-like. Inflorescence: head, axillary, involucred; flowers sessile, generally 2--3, generally included in involucre; involucre bracts +- free, +- = leaves, generally < peduncle. Flower: calyx lobes 6, persistent, tips +- dissected; corolla salverform, generally 4-lobed, pink or lavender; styles 2, thread-like, fused proximally. Fruit: 2 nutlets; hairs soft. Chromosomes: 2n=22.
Ecology: Pastures, disturbed areas, grassland, dry meadows, oak woodland; Elevation: 10--1160 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, NCoRO, NCoRI, CaRF, n SN, ScV, SnFrB, SCoRO, SCo; Distribution Outside California: to Idaho, Arizona, eastern United States; native to Mediterranean. Flowering Time: Mar--Jul
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert E. Preston & Lauramay T. Dempster
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Sherardia arvensis

botanical illustration including Sherardia arvensis

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Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & Lauramay T. Dempster 2012, Sherardia arvensis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 27, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 27, 2024.

Sherardia arvensis
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©2016 Neal Kramer
Sherardia arvensis
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©2021 Aaron Schusteff
Sherardia arvensis
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©2012 Neal Kramer
Sherardia arvensis
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©2008 Steve Matson
Sherardia arvensis
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©2005 Steve Matson

More photos of Sherardia arvensis
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Sherardia arvensis:
NCo, NCoRO, NCoRI, CaRF, n SN, ScV, SnFrB, SCoRO, SCo
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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).