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Vascular Plants of California
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Symphoricarpos mollis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CaprifoliaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Subshrub to small tree or vine. Leaf: opposite, simple or compound; stipules generally 0. Flower: calyx tube fused to ovary, limb generally 5-lobed; corolla radial or bilateral, rotate to cylindric, generally 5-lobed; stamens generally 5, epipetalous, alternate corolla lobes; ovary inferior, 1--5-chambered, style 1. Fruit: berry, drupe.
Genera In Family: 5 genera, 220 species: especially northern temperate. Note: Linnaea moved to Linnaeaceae; Sambucus and Viburnum to Adoxaceae.
eFlora Treatment Author: Charles D. Bell, family description, key to genera
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: SymphoricarposView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Shrub. Stem: decumbent to erect, slender. Leaf: simple, deciduous, short-petioled; blade generally elliptic to round, some often +- lobed. Inflorescence: generally raceme, generally +- terminal, generally few-flowered; flower subtended by 2 fused bractlets. Flower: +- radial; hypanthium +- spheric; calyx with 5-toothed, persistent limb; corolla bell-shaped to +- salverform, generally 5-lobed, white or pink, often +- hairy inside; nectary glands [1]5, +- basal; stamens generally included; ovary chambers 4, styles generally included, stigma head-shaped. Fruit: drupe, generally berry-like, white to pink. Seed: 2 (1 per lateral ovary chamber), +- oblong, planoconvex.
Species In Genus: +- 10 species: North America, 1 in China. Etymology: (Greek: to bear fruit together, berries borne in clusters)
eFlora Treatment Author: Charles D. Bell & Lauramay T. Dempster
Unabridged Reference: Jones 1940 J Arnold Arbor 21:201 252
Symphoricarpos mollis Nutt.
Habit: Plant sprawling, 1.5--6 dm, +- glabrous to soft-hairy. Stem: branches often rooting; root-crowns, old nodes often becoming swollen. Leaf: blade 0.5--3 cm. Inflorescence: flowers 2--8. Flower: calyx limb spreading, divided 1/2; corolla +- 4 mm, bell-shaped, pink, often red outside, lobes +- erect, 1/2 corolla, hairy inside; nectary glands 5, 1 below each corolla lobe. Fruit: +- 8 mm, round. Seed: 2--4 mm.
Ecology: Ridges, slopes, open places in woodland; Elevation: 9--3000 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaR, SN, CW, SW, MP; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, Idaho, New Mexico. Flowering Time: Apr--May
Synonyms: Symphoricarpos acutus (A. Gray) Dieck; Symphoricarpos hesperius G.N. Jones
Jepson eFlora Author: Charles D. Bell & Lauramay T. Dempster
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Symphoricarpos longiflorus
Next taxon: Symphoricarpos rotundifolius

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Botanical illustration including Symphoricarpos mollis

botanical illustration including Symphoricarpos mollis


Citation for this treatment: Charles D. Bell & Lauramay T. Dempster 2012, Symphoricarpos mollis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 20, 2021.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2021, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 20, 2021.

Symphoricarpos mollis
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© 2003 Steve Matson
Symphoricarpos mollis
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© 2003 Michael Charters
Symphoricarpos mollis
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© 2004 George W. Hartwell
Symphoricarpos mollis
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Symphoricarpos mollis
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© 2014 Neal Kramer
Symphoricarpos mollis
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© 2004 George W. Hartwell

More photos of Symphoricarpos mollis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Symphoricarpos mollis:
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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).