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Key to families | Table of families and genera

Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.



Robert E. Preston, Michael S. Park & Lincoln Constance

Biennial, perennial herb; taprooted, roots clustered, or rhizomes; generally glabrous, ± spiny. Stem: decumbent to erect, generally branched. Leaf: basal rosette, cauline; petioles present or 0; blades linear to triangular-ovate or round, generally pinnately or palmately lobed or dissected (entire), generally sharp-toothed or spine-tipped, net-veined; juvenile leaves linear, segmented. Inflorescence: heads 1–many in cymes, racemes [panicles]; bracts each generally subtend 1 flower, with scarious membrane enclosing ovary, outer > to >> inner, spiny or not on margins and abaxially; rays, pedicels 0. Flower: sepals spine-tipped, generally persistent; petals oblong to ovate or oblanceolate, white to blue or purple, tip long; anthers, styles generally green, occasionally blue; ovary tip projection 0. Fruit: obconic to obovate or narrowly elliptic [round], compressed or not, densely scaly; scales at fruit tip and along juncture of carpels generally larger, longer than on face or base; ribs 0; oil tubes obscure; fruit central axis not obvious. Seed: face generally flat.
± 230 species: America, Eurasia, Australia, New Zealand. (Ancient Greek name used by Theophrastus) [Marsden & Simpson 1999 Madroño 46:61–64] California species variable, intergrading, need study.
Unabridged references: [Sheikh 1983 Madroño 30:93–101]

Key to Eryngium

1. Plant stout, erect; bracts and sepals blue-tinged; inner bracts lobed at or distal to middle ..... E. articulatum

1' Plant slender to stout, prostrate to erect; bracts and sepals green, styles or anthers occasionally blue; inner bracts not lobed

2. Bract margins thickened, marginal spines 0

3. Leaf generally unlobed, margin sharply serrate to irregularly cut ..... E. armatum

3' Leaf pinnately to bipinnately lobed

4. Plant decumbent, ± green; main stem branched 1–6 cm distal to rosette; South Coast ..... E. pendletonense

4' Plant erect, silvery; main stem branched 7–32 cm distal to rosette; n&c Sierra Nevada Foothills ..... E. pinnatisectum

2' Bract margins not thickened, at least outer generally with spines

5. Leaf blade >> petiole, deeply pinnately or bipinnately lobed, lobes broad to narrow

6. Sepals pinnately lobed or toothed to entire, lanceolate, tapered to tip-spine

7. Bracts spiny on margin and abaxial surface; fruit scales lanceolate, acuminate ..... E. castrense

7' Bracts spiny on margins only, or 0–few abaxially; fruit scales oblong to ovate, acute ..... E. spinosepalum

6' Sepals generally entire, ovate, abruptly narrowed to tip-spine ..... E. vaseyi

8. Main stem branching 1–5 cm distal to rosette; sepal tips erect; n Sierra Nevada Foothills, se Sacramento Valley, ne San Joaquin Valley ..... var. vallicola

8' Main stem 0, plant branched within rosette; sepal tips generally reflexed; Outer South Coast Ranges ..... var. vaseyi

5' Leaf blade < petiole or petiole ± 0, leaf spiny-margined to dentate, serrate or irregularly cut, lobes 0 or shallow, broad

9. Plant prostrate or decumbent, with roots and juvenile leaves at nodes; inflorescence raceme-like ..... E. racemosum

9' Plant decumbent to erect, not rooting nor with juvenile leaves at nodes; inflorescence cyme-like

10. Bracts with many spines on margins and abaxial surface ..... E. mathiasiae

10' Bracts with 0 or few spines on abaxial surface

11. Main stem generally 0, plant branched within rosette; basal leaves generally > branches ..... E. alismifolium

11' Main stem present, branched distal to base; basal leaves < branches

12. Plant densely puberulent throughout; heads 5–7-flowered ..... E. constancei

12' Plant glabrous, or occasionally puberulent only on leaves or bracts; heads > 10-flowered

13. Plant stout, erect; leaf blade tapering to base, petiole obscure; sepal tip-spine generally 1–2 mm; outer bracts > 2 × inner bracts ..... E. jepsonii

13' Plant slender to stout, decumbent to erect; leaf blade abrupt-narrowed at base, < petiole; sepal tip-spine < 1 mm; outer bracts < 2 × inner bracts ..... E. aristulatum

14. Styles in fruit >> calyx; North Coast, North Coast Ranges, Sacramento Valley, San Francisco Bay Area ..... var. aristulatum

14' Styles in fruit ± = calyx; San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast Ranges, Southwestern California

15. Bract margins spiny ..... var. hooveri

15' Outer bract margin spines 0–3 pairs, inner bract spines 0 ..... var. parishii


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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