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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.



Ronald B. Kelley & Elaine Joyal

Perennial herb, generally from taprooted, branched caudex; glabrous to spreading-hairy. Stem: ± erect. Leaf: cauline and generally basal, alternate, generally petioled, upper generally sessile. Inflorescence: generally panicle- or raceme-like cymes; bracts 0. Flower: calyx generally deep-lobed; corolla often ± cylindric or bell-shaped, blue, generally pink in bud, tube generally well developed, exceeding calyx, abruptly expanded at throat, with or without ring of inner hairs, appendages present or not; filaments often ± flat, generally attached ± below appendages, anthers included. Fruit: nutlets generally wrinkled, attached near or below middle.
± 50 species: North America, temperate Eurasia. (F.C. Mertens, German botanist, plant collector, 1764–1831) Hybrids common; identification sometimes difficult, especially in Modoc Plateau. {hort link}
Unabridged references: [Williams 1937 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 24: 17–159; Milek 1988 Ph.D. Dissertation Univ of Northern Colorado; Strachan 1988 Ph.D. Dissertation Univ of Montana]

Key to Mertensia

1. Corolla 6–10 mm, tube < calyx; nw Klamath Ranges ..... M. bella

1' Corolla 10–25 mm, tube > calyx; High Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, Great Basin Floristic Province

2. Plant ± sparse-spreading-hairy ..... M. cusickii

2' Plant glabrous to ± strigose

3. Plant 4–15 dm; lateral veins of cauline leaves conspicuous; wet places in mtns; flower Jun–Aug ..... M. ciliata var. stomatechoides

3' Plant generally < 4(5) dm; lateral veins of cauline leaves obscure; generally spring-moist places of plains, foothills; flower Apr–Jun

4. Basal leaves rare on flowering plants; cauline leaves generally 1.5–4 × longer than wide; corolla limb 0.3–0.5(0.6) × tube; stems generally 1–2, from shallow, tuber-like root ..... M. longiflora

4' Basal leaves generally well developed on flowering plants; cauline leaves generally 2.5–7 × longer than wide; corolla limb 0.5–0.8 × tube; stems many, from large fleshy taprooted caudex ..... M. oblongifolia

5. Leaf blade ± glabrous; stem generally < 20 cm ..... var. nevadensis

5' Leaf blade hairy 1 or both surfaces; stem generally > 20 cm

6. Leaf blade hairy both surfaces ..... var. amoena

6' Leaf blade hairy adaxially ..... var. oblongifolia


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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