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Vascular Plants of California
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Tetragonia tetragonoides

Higher Taxonomy
Family: AizoaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, shrub, generally fleshy. Stem: underground to erect; root fibrous or tuberous. Leaf: generally simple, entire, flat, cylindric, 3-angled, or scale-like, generally cauline, generally opposite; stipules generally 0; blade papillate, pubescent, or generally glabrous, often glaucous. Inflorescence: cyme or 1-flowered, generally terminal. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; hypanthium present; sepals (3)5(8), often unequal; petals 0 or many in several whorls, free or fused at base, linear; stamens 1--many, free or fused in groups, outer often petal-like; nectary a ring or separate glands; pistil 1, ovary superior to inferior, chambers 1--20, placentas generally parietal, styles 0--20. Fruit: berry, nut, or generally capsule, opening by flaps or circumscissile. Seed: 1--many per chamber, generally ovoid, arilled or not.
Genera In Family: 130 genera, 2500 species: generally subtropics, especially southern Africa; many cultivated. Note: Galenia pubescens (Eckl. & Zeyh.) Druce, a waif, may be naturalizing in southern California.
Unabridged Note: Disphyma crassifolium (L.) L. Bolus (ovary glands convex, minute-crenate; stigmas dense-plumose; fruit chambers 5; seeds ovate, +- smooth), of tribe Ruschieae, an historical waif in California; Lampranthus coccineus (Haw.) N.E. Br.: (ovary glands fused; fruit chambers 5; seeds pear-shaped, +- black, rough), of Ruschieae, an historical waif or urban weed in California.
eFlora Treatment Author: Nancy J. Vivrette, John Bleck & Wayne R. Ferren, Jr., family description, key to genera
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: TetragoniaView Description 

Habit: Annual [perennial herb, subshrub]; +- papillate. Stem: prostrate. Leaf: alternate or sometimes basal opposite. Inflorescence: flowers 1 or 2--3 in cluster, axillary, +- sessile. Flower: sepals 3--5; petals 0; stamens 1--many; ovary inferior, chambers 3--9, ovule 1, styles 3--9. Fruit: nut-like, 8--10 mm diam, angled, with 2--5 horns. Seed: +- pear-shaped [reniform].
Species In Genus: 50 species: southern hemisphere. Etymology: (Greek: four-angled)
eFlora Treatment Author: Nancy J. Vivrette
Tetragonia tetragonoides (Pall.) Kuntze
Habit: Papillae widely spaced, large, crystalline. Stem: many, spreading, 3+ dm. Leaf: 2--5(10) cm; petiole winged, 1--3 cm; blade triangular-ovate, base truncate, margin entire, +- wavy. Flower: generally bisexual, self-fertile, 5 mm; sepals 4--5, spreading, +- yellow. Seed: pear-shaped, brown. Chromosomes: 2n=32.
Ecology: Common. Sand dunes, bluffs, margins of coastal wetlands; Elevation: < 100 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, CCo, SCo; Distribution Outside California: native to southern hemisphere. Flowering Time: Apr--Sep
Synonyms: Demidovia tetragonoides Pall.; Tetragonia expansa Murray
Jepson eFlora Author: Nancy J. Vivrette
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: Nancy J. Vivrette 2012, Tetragonia tetragonoides, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 27, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 27, 2022.

No expert verified images found for Tetragonia tetragonoides.

Geographic subdivisions for Tetragonia tetragonoides:
NCo, CCo, 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).