Flowers have 4-5 white petals and occur in clusters of 1-3. Moulton Meadows, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Beach, CA. 12-22-11. © Peter J. Bryant

Bush Rue

Cneoridium dumosum

Rutaceae

Occurs in Orange County in the southern San Joaquin Hills on mesas and bluffs near the coast in Diegan Coastal sage scrub, southern maritime chaparral and adjacent communities (Roberts). Typically four petals and eight anthers, but some of both are often lost.

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An evergreen, rounded perennial shrub with intricate branching, growing up to 1.5 m. tall.  Leaves are simple and opposite. Moulton Meadows, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Beach, CA. 12-22-11. © Peter J. Bryant

Superior ovary (green). Eight stamens are arranged in a ring. Yellow object on the right petal is a thrips. Moulton Meadows, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Beach, CA. 12-22-11. © Peter J. Bryant

Superior ovary (green ripening to red). Eight stamens are arranged in a ring. Moulton Meadows, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Beach, CA. 12-22-11. © Peter J. Bryant

Superior ovary (green). Eight stamens are arranged in a ring. Moulton Meadows, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Beach, CA. 12-22-11. © Peter J. Bryant

Yellow insect on the left petal is a thrips. Moulton Meadows, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Beach, CA. 12-22-11. © Peter J. Bryant

Yellow insect in the flower is a thrips. Moulton Meadows, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Beach, CA. 12-22-11. © Peter J. Bryant

Superior ovary (green). Eight stamens are arranged in a ring. Yellow insect in the flower is a thrips. Moulton Meadows, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Beach, CA. 12-22-11. © Peter J. Bryant

A flower with some petals and anthers missing shows the superior ovary (red), style and stigma as well as two anthers. There is a nectar disk surrounding the base of the ovary.Moulton Meadows, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Beach, CA. 12-22-11. © Peter J. Bryant

The one-chambered ovary is sessile (without a stalk) with two ovules. The style is short and flat from near the ovary base; stigma is head-like. The insect is a thrips. Moulton Meadows, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Beach, CA. 12-22-11. © Peter J. Bryant

The one-chambered ovary is sessile (without a stalk) with two ovules. The style is short and flat from near the ovary base; stigma is head-like.  Four persistent sepals are fused at the base. Some petals and anthers are missing in this example. Moulton Meadows, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Beach, CA. 12-22-11. © Peter J. Bryant

Seaview Park, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Niguel, CA. 11-25-11. © Joan Avise.

Seaview Park, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Niguel, CA. 11-25-11. © Joan Avise.

The twigs and branches contain phytotoxic alkaloid compounds which can cause  painful blisters on skin exposed to light. Moulton Meadows, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Beach, CA. 12-22-11. © Peter J. Bryant

Members of this family have pellucid glands on the leaves which produce aromatic oils, responsible for the aromatic smell of the family's members. Some of these are commercially important. Moulton Meadows, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Beach, CA. 12-22-11. © Peter J. Bryant

Moulton Meadows, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Beach, CA.12-23-11. © Joan Avise.

Seaview Park, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Niguel, CA. 11-25-11. © Joan Avise.

Seaview Park, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Niguel, CA. 5-23-10. © Joan Avise.

Seaview Park, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Niguel, CA. 5-29-11. © Joan Avise.

Seaview Park, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Niguel, CA. 4-30-11. © Joan Avise.

Seaview Park, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Niguel, CA. 5-23-10. © Joan Avise.

Fruits drupe-like 5-6 mm. diam., gland-dotted, green aging to red. Four persistent sepals are fused at the base. Moulton Meadows, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Beach, CA. 12-22-11. © Peter J. Bryant

Fruits drupe-like 5-6 mm. diam., gland-dotted, green aging to red.  Moulton Meadows, Aliso and Wood Canyons Wilderness Park, Laguna Beach, CA. 12-22-11. © Peter J. Bryant