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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

ACANTHACEAE

ACANTHUS FAMILY

Lawrence R. Heckard

Annual, perennial herb, shrubs
Leaves simple, generally opposite; stipules 0
Inflorescence: cyme, spike, or raceme, bracted
Flower bisexual; calyx deeply (3)4–5 lobed; corolla 4–5 lobed, nearly radial to 2-lipped; stamens (2)4, epipetalous, anther sacs sometimes dissimilar in size or placement; ovary superior, chambers 2, ovules 4–many, placentas axile, style long, stigmas 1–2
Fruit: capsule, loculicidal, generally dehiscing explosively
Seeds generally 2 per chamber, ejected by specialized hook-like stalks
Genera in family: 250 genera, 3000 species: especially tropical; some ornamental: Justicia (Beloperone, shrimp-plant), Acanthus , Thunbergia. [Daniel 1984 Desert Plants 5:162–179]

JUSTICIA

Annual, perennial herb, shrub
Inflorescence: generally spike or raceme
Flower: corolla 2-lipped, tube > lips, wider upward, upper lip notched or 2-lobed, lower lip 3-lobed; stamens 2, generally appressed to upper lip, anther sacs unequally placed on filament, opening toward lower lip, generally at least lower sac spurred
Fruit club-shaped; stalk flattened
Seeds 4, outlined on fruit surface
Species in genus: 300 species: tropical, subtropical
Etymology: (James Justice, 18th century Scottish horticulturist)

Native

J. californica (Benth.) D. Gibson

BELOPERONE, CHUPAROSA

Shrub
Stem < 2 m, generally leafless in flower, canescent
Leaf: petiole < 20 mm; blade 1–6 cm, ovate, triangular, or ± round, puberulent
Inflorescence: raceme; bracts < 1 cm, lanceolate-elliptic, falling early; bractlets 2–5 mm, narrow-tapered
Flower: calyx 5–8 mm, lobes 5, lanceolate; corolla 2–4 cm, puberulent, dull scarlet (yellow), lips 1–2 cm, < tube, lobes of lower lip 1–4 mm
Fruit 1.5–2 cm, canescent
Seed 2.5–3.5 mm, ± round, mottled
Chromosomes: 2n=28
Ecology: Dry sandy or rocky soils, especially washes
Elevation: < 800 m.
Bioregional distribution: w Peninsular Ranges (San Diego River e of Wildcat Canyon), Sonoran Desert
Distribution outside California: Arizona, nw Mexico
Flowering time: Mar–Jun
Synonyms: Beloperone c. Benth
Horticultural information: SUN, DRN: 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24 &IRR 12, 13, 14; DFCLT < 25 ° causes damage; CVS.

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