Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Tripterocalyx crux-maltae

Higher Taxonomy
Family: NyctaginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, subshrub, [shrub, tree], glabrous or hairy. Stem: often forked. Leaf: opposite, sessile or petioled, pairs generally unequal; blade generally entire. Inflorescence: generally forked; spike, head-like cluster, or umbel, flowers rarely 1, bracts forming a calyx-like involucre or not. Flower: bisexual, generally +- radial (bilateral), sometimes cleistogamous in some genera; perianth of 1 whorl, generally petal-like, bell- to trumpet-shaped, base hardened, tightly surrounding ovary in fruit, lobes 3--5, generally notched to +- lobed; stamens 1--many; ovary superior (appearing inferior due to hardened perianth base), style 1. Fruit: achene in hardened perianth base; round to +- flat; smooth, angled, ribbed, or winged; glabrous, hairy, or glandular.
Genera In Family: 30 genera, 350 species: warm regions, especially America; some ornamental (Bougainvillea; Mirabilis, four o'clock).
eFlora Treatment Author: Andy Murdock, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: TripterocalyxView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb from large taproot. Stem: much-branched. Leaf: petioled; blade < 8 cm, fleshy, margin often wavy. Inflorescence: head or umbel; bracts 5--10, green; flowers maturing 1 side of inflorescence before the other; receptacle flat or rounded, studded with peg-shaped pedicel-like projections 1--3 mm. Flower: nocturnal, perianth trumpet-shaped, lobes 4--5; stamens 3--5, included; stigma linear, included. Fruit: wings 2--4, wide, surrounding fruit body, translucent, conspicuously net-veined.
Species In Genus: 4 species: arid North America. Etymology: (Greek, Latin: 3-winged cup, from fruit) Note: Closely related to Abronia.
eFlora Treatment Author: Andy Murdock
Reference: Galloway 2003 FNANM 4:70--71
Tripterocalyx crux-maltae (Kellogg) Standl.
Stem: < 3 dm, glandular-sticky. Leaf: blade 2.5--7 cm, ovate to elliptic, +- glandular-hairy. Flower: perianth generally pink to magenta. Fruit: raised ribs extending into wings.
Ecology: Sagebrush scrub; Elevation: 1200--1500 m. Bioregional Distribution: MP (Lassen Co.); Distribution Outside California: northwestern Nevada. Flowering Time: May--Jun Note: Reported for but not collected in California (Lassen Co.).
Synonyms: Abronia crux-maltae Kellogg
Unabridged Note: As of 17 Jan 2007: Glenn Clifton confirms having seen fewer than 100 plants on private property in California (and having moved an existing pipeline in order to save them), but did not collect a specimen; specimens collected by Gary Schoolcraft and listed for California by CalFlora were actually collected in Nevada according to Schoolcraft.
Jepson eFlora Author: Andy Murdock
Reference: Galloway 2003 FNANM 4:70--71
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 Tripterocalyx crux-maltae

botanical illustration including Tripterocalyx crux-maltae


Citation for this treatment: Andy Murdock 2012, Tripterocalyx crux-maltae, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=47317, accessed on April 03, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 03, 2020.

Tripterocalyx crux-maltae
click for enlargement
© 2009 Gary A. Monroe
Tripterocalyx crux-maltae
click for enlargement
© 2010 Gary A. Monroe
Tripterocalyx crux-maltae
click for enlargement
© 1993 Gary A. Monroe
Tripterocalyx crux-maltae
click for enlargement
© 2009 Gary A. Monroe
Tripterocalyx crux-maltae
click for enlargement
© 2009 Gary A. Monroe
Tripterocalyx crux-maltae
click for enlargement
© 2010 Gary A. Monroe

More photos of Tripterocalyx crux-maltae in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Tripterocalyx crux-maltae:
MP (Lassen Co.)
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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).