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is a species of shrub
A shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m tall. A large number of plants may become either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience...
in the buckthorn family Rhamnaceae
Rhamnaceae, the Buckthorn family, is a large family of flowering plants, mostly trees, shrubs and some vines.The family contains 50-60 genera and approximately 870-900 species. The Rhamnaceae have a worldwide distribution, but are more common in the subtropical and tropical regions...
known by the common name Fresno mat
. It is endemic to California
California is a state located on the West Coast of the United States. It is by far the most populous U.S. state, and the third-largest by land area...
, where it grows in central sections of the Sierra Nevada and its foothills. Its habitat includes dry woodland and coniferous forest.
This is a flat, spreading shrub forming mats approaching 6 meters in maximum width. The stems are reddish brown and send down roots at nodes. The evergreen leaves are oppositely arranged and generally under 2 centimeters long. They are oval and have smooth edges but sometimes have a few teeth or notches at the tips. The inflorescence
An inflorescence is a group or cluster of flowers arranged on a stem that is composed of a main branch or a complicated arrangement of branches. Strictly, it is the part of the shoot of seed plants where flowers are formed and which is accordingly modified...
is a small cluster of pale to bright blue flowers. The fruit is a horned capsule about half a centimeter long.