Shrubs or trees, ˂rounded to ovoid˃, 10–50(–80) dm, usually multistemmed. Leaves: petiole (1.5–)4–16(–26) mm; blade usually bicolor, sometimes green or yellow-green, oblong-elliptic or oblong-lanceolate to linear-lanceolate or linear, (2.2–)3–11(–15) × (0.6–)0.7–2(–3.2) cm, base obliquely cuneate to rounded, margins serrulate or crenulate, teeth 10–35(–50) per 5 cm, 0.1–0.5(–1.5) mm, apex acute, mostly mucronate, surfaces closely villous-tomentulose, abaxially more densely so, or glabrate or tardily glabrescent (some remaining crinkled hairs). Corymbs 1.5–5(–12) × 1.7–8(–13) cm, tomentulose, sometimes sparsely hairy or glabrate. Flowers: hypanthium 1.5–2.5(–3) × 2–3.7(–4.5) mm, tomentose to sparsely tomentulose or glabrate; sepals 1.1–2.2 × 1.4–2.3 mm, margins eglandular; petals oblong-ovate, 3.4–5.4 × 2.4–3.5 mm; filaments 2.5–6 mm. Capsules 4.5–6.5 × 3.5–4.5 mm. Seeds 3.5–5 × 0.9–1.4 mm.
Subspecies 4 (3 in the flora): sw United States, n Mexico.
Subspecies retherfordii (I. M. Johnston) W. J. Hess & Henrickson is known from Coahuila and Durango in northern Mexico.
SELECTED REFERENCE Williams, K. B. 1971. Ecological and Morphological Variations of Vauquelinia californica(Torr.) Sarg. Populations in Arizona. Ph.D. dissertation. University of Arizona.
Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969, Austin 2010
Common Name: Arizona rosewood Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Tree General: Large shrubs to small trees with evergreen leaves, to 6 m tall, with dark gray nearly smooth bark. Leaves: Alternate, short-petiolate, firm and leathery; lanceolate with serrate margins, the teeth gland-tipped and often with glands between the teeth; leaves mostly pointing upwards, dark green on the upper surface, lighter in color underneath, to 10 cm long, 1-2 cm wide; petioles to 2 cm long. Flowers: White flowers in terminal cymose panicles; hypanthium tomentose, 2 mm deep and slightly wider; calyx lobes ovate, 1 mm long; petals white, oblong to obovate, 3-4 mm long, spreading to reflexed; stamens numerous; pistils 5, connate at base. Fruits: Subwoody capsules that split into 5 follicles; each follicle 4 mm long, opening along 1 suture, and containing 2 winged seeds. Ecology: Found on gravelly or limestone soils in canyons and oak woodlands, from 2,500-5,000 ft (762-1524 m); flowers May-July. Distribution: s AZ into Sonora and Baja California Notes: The leathery upwards-pointing evergreen leaves with finely serrate margins are a good indicator for this species. It superficially resembles seepwillow, (Baccharis salicifolia) with its shrubby growth form, terminal cymes of white flowers, lanceolate leaves, and preference of canyon habitat. However, B. salicifolia only grows in very moist riparian habitats, and like many species in the sunflower family, its seeds are accompanied by short tufts hairs, similar to dandelions. V. californica often grows on rocky hillsides, and the seeds are produced within woody capsules. Ethnobotany: Wood and bark were used for dying goatskins yellow; it is also a modern cultivated ornamental in Arizona. Etymology: Vauquelinia is named for Louis Nicolas Vauquelin, a 19th century French chemist and botanist; californica means of or from California. Synonyms: None Editor: LCrumbacher and SBuckley 2011, FSCoburn 2015, AHazelton 2015