Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Tonella tenella

Higher Taxonomy
Family: PlantaginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to shrub, some aquatic. Leaf: basal or cauline, alternate or opposite (whorled), simple, entire to dentate or lobed, venation generally pinnate; stipules 0. Inflorescence: raceme, spike, or flowers axillary in 1--few-flowered clusters; flowers few to many, each subtended by 1 bract. Flower: unisexual or bisexual, radial or bilateral; sepals 4--5, generally fused at base; corolla 4--5-lobed, scarious or not, persistent or not, generally 2-lipped, upper lip generally 2-lobed, lower generally 3-lobed, spur present or not, tube sac-like at base or not; stamens 2 or 4, alternate corolla lobes, epipetalous, staminode 0 or 1--2, anthers opening by 2 slits; ovary superior, [1]2--4-chambered, style 1, stigma lobes 0 or 2. Fruit: generally a capsule, septicidal, loculicidal, circumscissile, or dehiscing by terminal slits or pores.
Genera In Family: 110 genera, +- 2000 species: worldwide, especially temperate. Note: Veronicaceae sensu Olmstead et al. Recently treated to include Callitrichaceae, Hippuridaceae, and most non-parasitic California genera of Scrophulariaceae (except Buddleja, Diplacus, Erythranthe, Limosella, Lindernia, Mimetanthe, Mimulus, Myoporum, Scrophularia, Verbascum). California Maurandya moved to Holmgrenanthe and Maurandella. Limnophila ×ludoviciana Thieret an occasional agricultural weed in rice fields. Hebe ×franciscana (Eastw.) Souster, Hebe speciosa (R. Cunn.) Andersen only cultivated.
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Robert Patterson, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: TonellaView Description 

Habit: Annual. Stem: erect, slender, branched. Leaf: opposite, entire to 3-lobed. Inflorescence: raceme, bracted. Flower: calyx well developed, deeply 5-lobed; corolla 2-lipped, upper lip 2-lobed, lower lip 3-lobed (middle lobe wider than lateral); stamens 4, equal, exserted, filaments hairy; stigmas fused. Fruit: loculicidal, spheric to ovoid. Seed: large, wingless.
Species In Genus: 2 species: North America. Etymology: (Derivation unknown)
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael S. Park, Elizabeth Chase Neese & Margriet Wetherwax
Tonella tenella (Benth.) A. Heller
Stem: ascending, 5--30 cm. Leaf: 10--15 mm; adaxial face soft-shaggy-hairy; proximal leaves petioled, ovate to round, becoming sessile distally on stem, entire to deeply 3-lobed or ternate. Inflorescence: minutely glandular-hairy distally; bracts lanceolate, subtending 1--3 flowers; pedicels 8--15 mm. Flower: calyx < 3 mm, lobes < 2 mm, tips acute to obtuse, minutely ciliate; corolla 2--2.5 mm, upper lobes < lower, white proximally, blue or violet distally, often with purple spots. Fruit: 2--2.5 mm. Seed: 1 per chamber, < 1.5 mm.
Ecology: Moist, shaded places in chaparral, oak and mixed woodland; Elevation: < 1600 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoR, CaR, n SNH, SnFrB; Distribution Outside California: to Washington. Flowering Time: Mar--Jun
Jepson eFlora Author: Michael S. Park, Elizabeth Chase Neese & Margriet Wetherwax
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Tonella tenella

botanical illustration including Tonella tenella


Citation for this treatment: Michael S. Park, Elizabeth Chase Neese & Margriet Wetherwax 2012, Tonella tenella, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=46732, accessed on February 22, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 22, 2020.

Tonella tenella
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© 2011 Aaron Schusteff
Tonella tenella
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© 2008 Steve Matson
Tonella tenella
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© 1998 John Game
Tonella tenella
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© 2009 Barry Rice
Tonella tenella
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Tonella tenella
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse

More photos of Tonella tenella in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Tonella tenella:
KR, NCoR, CaR, n SNH, SnFrB
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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).