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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, perennial herb. Leaf: generally alternate, occasionally partially opposite [whorled], ± sessile, generally glabrous; stipule glands present or 0. Inflorescence: raceme or cyme. Flower: inner 2 sepals overlapped by outer 3, all margins generally translucent, generally ciliate or toothed, glandular or not; petals 5–25 mm, generally ephemeral; staminodes 0 or 5; carpels 5, ovary chambers 10, styles free or fused, stigmas 5, >= style width. Fruit: 3–10 mm diam, generally spheric, dehiscent, generally 5 or 10 segmented. Seed: 5 or 10, lens-shaped, rounded, brown to black, generally glossy.
± 180 species: temperate & subtropics, especially Eurasia and North America. (Latin: flax) [Rogers 1984 North Amer Flora Ser II 12:1–56] Linum usitatissimum cultivated for fiber (linen) and seed for oil and food; Linum perenne, Linum grandiflorum, ornamental; some Eurasian species used in cancer treatment.

Key to Linum

1. Petals yellow to orange, with dark red band at base; styles fused ± to tip; fruit 5-segmented, segments distinct; stem puberulent ..... L. puberulum

1' Petals bright red to maroon, or blue to white; styles free or bases ± fused; fruit 10-segmented, segments ± adherent; stem glabrous

2. Petals bright red to maroon; all sepal margins conspicuously ciliate ..... L. grandiflorum

2' Petals blue to white; margins of inner sepals entire or minutely toothed to ciliate

3. Stigmas head-like; margins of inner sepals entire, not ciliate; perennial herb ..... L. lewisii var. lewisii

3' Stigmas elongate, linear to club-shaped; margins of inner sepals minutely ciliate or toothed (entire); annual, weak perennial herb, or biennial

4. Petals 6–10 mm; fruit generally 4–6 mm wide ..... L. bienne

4' Petals 10–15 mm; fruit 5–10 mm wide ..... L. usitatissimum


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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