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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.



Margriet Wetherwax & Dieter H. Wilken, family description, key to genera

Annual, perennial herb, woody vine [shrub], occasionally aquatic. Leaf: generally basal and cauline, alternate or opposite, simple or compound; petioles at base generally flat, occasionally sheathing or stipule-like. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flowers 1. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial; sepals 3–6(20), free, early-deciduous or withering in fruit, generally green; petals 0–many, generally free; stamens generally 5–many, staminodes generally 0; pistils 1–many, ovary superior, chamber 1, style 0–1, generally ± persistent as beak, ovules 1–many. Fruit: achene, follicle, berry, ± utricle in Trautvetteria, in aggregate or not, 1–many-seeded.
± 60 genera, 1700 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate, tropical mountains; many ornamental (Adonis, Aquilegia, Clematis, Consolida, Delphinium, Helleborus, Nigella). some highly TOXIC (Aconitum, Actaea, Delphinium, Ranunculus). [Whittemore & Parfitt 1997 FNANM 3:85–271] Taxa of Isopyrum in TJM (1993) moved to Enemion; Kumlienia moved to Ranunculus. —Scientific Editors: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.

Key to Ranunculaceae

1. Flower bilateral; sepals petal-like, not alike, uppermost spurred or hooded, generally > others

2. Uppermost sepal hooded, not spurred, enclosing petals, stamens ..... ACONITUM

2' Uppermost sepal spurred, ± flat or curved but not hooded, generally not enclosing petals, stamens

3. Annual, generally from taproot; petals 2, fused; pistil 1 ..... CONSOLIDA

3' Perennial herb, generally from ± fibrous or fleshy roots; petals 4, free; pistils 3(5) ..... DELPHINIUM

1' Flower radial; sepals petal-like or not, ± alike

4. Sepal spurs present, petal spurs 0; plant generally tufted; leaves basal, simple, linear ..... MYOSURUS

4' Sepal spurs 0, petal spurs occasional; plant not tufted; leaves generally basal and cauline, generally dissected or compound (or basal, simple, lanceolate to reniform)

5. Pistils 1; fruit a berry ..... ACTAEA

5' Pistils (1)2–many; fruit achene or follicle (± utricle in Trautvetteria)

6. Ovules >= 2 per ovary; fruit follicle

7. Petals spurred ..... AQUILEGIA

7' Petals 0 or not spurred

8. Leaf simple ..... CALTHA

8' Leaf compound

9. Plant from slender rhizomes or stolons, scapose; sepals 5–8, linear; petals 5–7 ..... COPTIS

9' Plant from clustered, slender to fusiform or ± spheric fleshy roots, not scapose; sepals generally 5, oblong to obovate; petals 0 ..... ENEMION

6' Ovule 1 per ovary; fruit achene (± utricle in Trautvetteria)

10. Cauline leaves generally opposite or 0 but involucre bracts leaf-like, generally in 1–2 whorls of 2–5

11. Plant perennial herb, not vine; basal leaves present, cauline 0 but involucre bracts leaf-like, generally in 1–2 whorls of 2–5; inflorescence terminal; sepals 5–10 ..... ANEMONE

11' Plant ± woody vine; basal leaves 0, cauline generally many, opposite; inflorescence axillary; sepals generally 4 ..... CLEMATIS

10' Cauline leaves alternate or 0

12. Perianth parts in 2 whorls; sepals generally green to ± yellow, not petal-like; petals 3–many, yellow to orange, occasionally white or purple

13. Anthers ± purple; petals yellow to orange, base ± purple, nectaries 0 ..... ADONIS

13' Anthers yellow; petals generally yellow, occasionally white or purple, nectaries near base ..... RANUNCULUS

12' Perianth parts in ± 1 whorl (inner << outer, gland-like in Ranunculus hystriculus); sepals generally green to white or ± purple, petal-like or not; petals generally 0

14. Leaf compound, leaflets entire, crenate, or lobed; flower unisexual or bisexual ..... THALICTRUM

14' Leaf simple, crenate to deeply lobed; flower bisexual

15. Leaf crenate to palmately lobed, lobes rounded to obtuse, entire to toothed or lobed; inflorescence scapose, flowers 1(3); sepals 6–13 mm, blade ± flat; petals 2–4 mm, gland-like ..... Ranunculus hystriculus

15' Leaf deeply palmately lobed, lobes ± wedge-shaped, toothed distally; inflorescence not scapose, flowers >= 5 in terminal panicle; sepals 2.5–6 mm, blade cup-like; petals 0 ..... TRAUTVETTERIA


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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