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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.


Annual to subshrub [shrub]; hairs sessile, appressed, 2–5(8)-rayed. Leaf: basal rosetted, petioled, entire, dentate, or pinnately lobed; cauline sessile or petioled, bases not lobed. Inflorescence: elongated. Flower: sepals oblong to linear, erect, base of lateral pair sac-like or not; petals clawed, yellow or orange (white, purple, or brown). Fruit: silique, dehiscent, linear, cylindric, 4-sided, or flat parallel or perpendicular to septum, unsegmented; stigma entire or 2-lobed. Seed: 15–100, in 1 or 2 rows, plump or flattened, oblong, winged or not.
± 150 species: North America, Eurasia, northern Africa. (Greek: to help or save, from alleged medicinal properties of some species) [Rossbach 1958 Madroño 14:261–267] Fls, fruit, basal leaves needed for identification. All native California taxa related to Erysimum capitatum; hybridization blurs limits of some species.
Unabridged references: [Rollins 1993 Cruciferae of continental North America. Stanford Univ Press.]

Key to Erysimum

1. Petals 3–9(12) mm, 1.5–3 mm wide

2. Fruit valves densely hairy inside; sepals 1.8–3.2 mm; petal claw 1.5–3.5 mm ..... E. cheiranthoides

2' Fruit valves glabrous (sparsely hairy) inside; sepals 4–8 mm; petal claw 3–8 mm ..... E. repandum

1' Petals (10)13–30(35) mm, 3–10(15) mm wide

3. Most proximal stems woody; plant generally subshrub

4. Fruit hairs 2-rayed; stigma lobes 2, prominent, longer than wide; petals orange to yellow, brown, red, purple, violet, or white ..... E. cheiri

4' Fruit hairs 2–4-rayed; stigma lobes obscure, as long as wide; petals yellow or cream

5. Fruit flat perpendicular to septum; leaf hairs 2(3)-rayed ..... E. insulare

5' Fruit flat parallel to septum or 4-angled; leaf hairs 2–5-rayed

6. Distal leaves petioled; fruit flat parallel to septum; pedicel stout, 5–17(22) mm ..... E. franciscanum

6' Distal leaves sessile; fruit 4-angled or ± flat parallel to septum; pedicels slender, (3)5–10 mm ..... E. suffrutescens

3' Proximal stems not woody; plant biennial or perennial herb

7. Basal leaves thread-like to narrowly linear, margins ± rolled under, appearing cylindric ..... E. teretifolium

7' Basal leaves various, flat, not thread-like or narrowly linear

8. Fruit constricted between seeds; seeds 26–44; petals 3.5–6 mm wide ..... E. perenne

8' Fruit not constricted between seeds; seeds (32)42–86; petals (5)6–16 mm wide

9. Pedicels 2–4(6) mm; seeds 1.5–3 mm wide, broadly ovate to ± round ..... E. concinnum

9' Pedicels 4–17(25) mm; seeds 0.7–2 mm wide, oblong

10. Fruit erect or ascending (± spreading); petals orange or occasionally orange-yellow to yellow (lavender to ± purple); seeds winged only at tip or wing 0; widespread ..... E. capitatum

11. Seeds winged at tip, 2–4 mm, (0.8)1–2 mm wide; fruit flat parallel to septum (4-angled); petals generally orange, occasionally orange-yellow or yellow; adaxial hairs of basal, proximal cauline leaves generally 3(7)-rayed ..... var. capitatum

11' Seeds wingless, 1.5–2(2.4) mm, 0.7–1.2 mm wide; fruit 4-angled (flat parallel to septum); petals generally yellow (lavender to ± purple); adaxial hairs of basal, proximal cauline leaves generally 2(3)-rayed ..... var. purshii

10' Fruit spreading; petals yellow; seeds winged all around; North Coast, Central Coast

12. Basal leaves linear-oblanceolate, 2–9 mm wide; stem 0.4–9(13) dm; fruit valve midvein prominent; seeds 50–86 ..... E. ammophilum

12' Basal leaves spoon-shaped, 5–15 mm wide; stem 0.2–2.5(3.5) dm; fruit valve midvein obscure; seeds 32–74 ..... E. menziesii


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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