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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.


Biennial, perennial herb, rhizomed or tap- or tuberous-rooted, glabrous or minutely scabrous. Stem: generally spreading to erect. Leaf: blade oblong-ovate to obovate, entire to ternately, palmately, or pinnately lobed, dissected, or compound. Inflorescence: heads simple, in cymes or racemes, dense, of bisexual and staminate (staminate only) flowers; bracts entire or lobed, < to > heads; bisexual flowers pedicelled or not, staminate generally long-pedicelled. Flower: calyx lobes prominent, persistent, occasionally fused; petals wide, yellow, purple, or ± white (pale red-orange), tips narrowed, generally lobed; styles long or short; ovary tip projection 0. Fruit: oblong-ovate to round, ± compressed side-to-side; fruit-halves ± cylindric, prickly to scaly or tubercled; ribs 0; oil tubes evident or obscure, regularly or irregularly arranged; fruit central axis not obvious. Seed: face flat or grooved.
± 40 species: temperate, ± worldwide. (Latin: to heal) [Bell 1954 Univ Calif Publ Bot 27:133–230]

Key to Sanicula

1. Leaves compound, base of main division petiole-like and unwinged

2. Leaves palmate, occasionally palmate-ternate, distal segment of main axis 4–30 mm wide

3. Main leaf divisions generally ± 5, central division generally 2–4 cm; styles 2 × calyx lobes; bracts 1–2 mm; fruit occasionally stalked distal to receptacle; common, widespread ..... S. crassicaulis (2)

3' Main leaf divisions ± 3, central division generally 4–7 cm; styles ± = calyx lobes; bracts 3–5 mm; fruit ± sessile distal to receptacle; uncommon, coastal ..... S. hoffmannii (2)

2' Leaves ± pinnate, first division generally ternate, others pinnate, distal segment of main axis 1–5 mm wide

4. Fruit with many hooked prickles

5. Staminate flowers 4–6 per umbel, inconspicuous; stem leafy, ± erect ..... S. bipinnata

5' Staminate flowers 7–12 per umbel, conspicuous; stem ± leafless, branches generally spreading widely from near base ..... S. graveolens

4' Fruit with ± rounded tubercles, hooked prickles 0 or few

6. Plant from taproot (tuber-like); staminate flowers ± > fruit, inconspicuous — North Coast, North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range Foothills ..... S. tracyi

6' Plant from a distinct, spheric or irregular tuber; staminate flowers generally >> fruit, conspicuous

7. Corolla ± yellow or pale red-orange; fruit 2.5–3 mm, most tubercles nipple-like or with bristle; San Francisco Bay Area ..... S. saxatilis

7' Corolla yellow; fruit 1.5–2 mm, tubercles unarmed; widespread ..... S. tuberosa

1' Leaves simple, entire to deeply lobed or cut, axis of main division with at least a narrow, toothed wing throughout

8. Bracts yellow, conspicuous, >> heads; plant prostrate; leaves bright ± yellow-green at flower ..... S. arctopoides

8' Bracts ± green, inconspicuous, <= heads; plant spreading to erect; leaves green at flower

9. Leaf margins not or ± toothed, some basal leaves entire ..... S. maritima

9' Leaf margins sharply toothed, all leaves ± lobed

10. Leaves palmately or ± ternately lobed or dissected; main divisions 3–5, generally not deeply cut

11. Main leaf division narrowed to ± petiole-like base ..... S. hoffmannii (2)

11' Main leaf division generally >= 10 mm wide at base

12. Outline of leaf margin ± rounded, teeth generally ± 1 mm; plant stout, 24–120 cm, generally branched well distal to base; widespread ..... S. crassicaulis (2)

12' Outline of leaf margin sharply angled, teeth generally ± 2 mm; plant slender, 5–30 cm, generally branched near base; generally coastal ..... S. laciniata

10' Leaves ± pinnately lobed or dissected; main divisions generally >= 7, generally deeply cut

13. Leaves appearing ± palmate, with some pinnate divisions — corolla yellow; Central Coast, Outer South Coast Ranges, Southwestern California ..... S. arguta

13' Leaves clearly pinnate, with some ternate divisions

14. Corolla purple or yellow; fruits 3–8 per head; staminate flowers inconspicuous, < fruit; widespread ..... S. bipinnatifida

14' Corolla yellow; fruits 1–5 per head; staminate flowers conspicuous, > fruit; Klamath Ranges (Del Norte Co.) ..... S. peckiana


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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