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Vascular Plants of California
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Neltuma odorata

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to tree. Leaf: generally alternate, generally compound, generally stipuled, generally entire, pinnately veined Inflorescence: generally raceme, spike, umbel or head; or flowers 1--few in axils. Flower: generally bisexual, generally bilateral; hypanthium 0 or flat to tubular; sepals generally 5, generally fused; petals generally 5, free, fused, or lower 2 +- united into keel (see 3, Key to Groups, for banner, wings); stamens 10 or many (or [1], 5, 6, 7, 9), free or fused or 10 with 9 filaments at least partly fused, 1 (uppermost) free; pistil 1, ovary superior, generally 1-chambered, ovules 1--many, style, stigma 1. Fruit: legume, including a stalk-like base (above receptacle) or not. Seed: 1--many, often +- reniform, generally hard, smooth.
Genera In Family: +- 730 genera, 19400 species: worldwide; with grasses, requisite in agriculture, most natural ecosystems. Many cultivated, most importantly Arachis, peanut; Glycine, soybean; Phaseolus, beans; Medicago, alfalfa; Trifolium, clovers; many orns. Note: Unless stated otherwise, fruit length including stalk-like base, number of 2° leaflets is per 1° leaflet. Upper suture of fruit adaxial, lower abaxial. Anthyllis vulneraria L. evidently a waif, a contaminant of legume seed from Europe. Laburnum anagyroides Medik., collected on Mount St. Helena in 1987, may be naturalized. Ceratonia siliqua L., carob tree (Group 2), differs from Gleditsia triacanthos L. in having evergreen (vs deciduous) leaves that are 1-pinnate (vs 1-pinnate on spurs on old stems, 2-pinnate on new stems) with 2--5(8) (vs 7--17) 1° leaflets, commonly cultivated, now naturalized in southern California. Aeschynomene rudis Benth. , Halimodendron halodendron (Pall.) Voss (possibly extirpated), Lens culinaris Medik. are agricultural weeds. Caragana arborescens Lam. only cult. Ononis alopecuroides L. , Sphaerophysa salsula (Pall.) DC. all evidently extirpated. Cercidium moved to Parkinsonia; Chamaecytisus to Cytisus; Psoralidium lanceolatum to Ladeania.
eFlora Treatment Author: Martin F. Wojciechowski, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Martin F. Wojciechowski, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: NeltumaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Shrub, tree; stipule spines generally 2 per node; roots long, spreading. Leaf: even-2-pinnate, alternate, deciduous; 1° leaflets generally 2--4, opposite; 2° leaflets generally many, opposite. Inflorescence: axillary, spike-like raceme, 1.5--15 cm, many-flowered. Flower: radial, small, white to green-white or yellow; calyx shallowly bell-shaped, lobes short; petals free, generally inconspicuous; stamens 10, exserted, free; style exserted, generally appearing before stamens. Fruit: indehiscent, linear, +- flat, +- narrowed between seeds, pulpy when young, then woody, straw-yellow. Seed: several, brown.
Etymology: (possibly from common name in Telugu language, southern India) Note: Cult, naturalized worldwide (especially southwestern Asia, northern and southwestern Africa).
eFlora Treatment Author: Martin F. Wojciechowski
Reference: Burkhart 1976 J Arnold Arbor 57:220--524; Hughes et al. 2022 PhytoKeys 205:147--189
Neltuma odorata (Torr. & Frém.) C.E. Hughes & G.P. Lewis
Habit: Shrub, tree < 7 m; crown often wider than tall. Stem: branches arched, crooked; spines 5--40 mm. Leaf: glabrous; 1° leaflets generally 1 pair, 6--17 cm; 2° leaflets 14--34, (10)15--25 mm, oblong, length 7--9 × width. Inflorescence: spike-like raceme, 6--10 cm. Flower: petals 2.5--3.5 mm. Fruit: 5--20 cm, linear, +- narrowed between seeds, glabrous. Seed: generally 5--18 mm, 6--7 mm, oblong.
Ecology: Common. Grassland, alkali flats, washes, bottoms, sandy alluvial flats, mesas; Elevation: < 1700 m. Bioregional Distribution: SnJV, SCo, SnGb, SnBr, PR, D; Distribution Outside California: to Texas, Baja California, northern Mexico. Flowering Time: Apr--Aug
Synonyms: Prosopis glandulosa Torr. var. torreyana (L.D. Benson) M.C. Johnst.; Prosopis juliflora (Sw.) DC. var. torreyana L.D. Benson
Jepson eFlora Author: Martin F. Wojciechowski
Reference: Burkhart 1976 J Arnold Arbor 57:220--524; Hughes et al. 2022 PhytoKeys 205:147--189
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Neltuma odorata

botanical illustration including Neltuma odorata

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Citation for this treatment: Martin F. Wojciechowski 2023, Neltuma odorata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 12,, accessed on June 24, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 24, 2024.

No expert verified images found for Neltuma odorata.

Geographic subdivisions for Neltuma odorata:
SnJV, SCo, SnGb, SnBr, PR, D
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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).