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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.



Rebecca L. Stubbs, Ruth E. Timme & Dieter H. Wilken

Annual, perennial herb. Stem: decumbent to erect, 10–100 cm, glandular-hairy, hairy, or glabrous. Leaf: pinnate-compound, alternate; basal petiole base membranous or not, sheathing or not; cauline sessile above; leaflets entire to divided, glabrous to glandular-hairy. Inflorescence: cyme or head. Flower: calyx bell-shaped, membranous in age but not separated into membrane and lobes, glandular-hairy; corolla rotate to funnel- or bell-shaped, tube << throat, lobes white to blue or purple; stamens attached at 1 level, filaments hairy at base; ovary generally ± 1 mm, ± 1 mm wide. Fruit: ovoid to spheric. Seed: <= 10, generally 1–3 mm, elliptic to ovate, ± gelatinous when wet, brown to black.
± 30 species: America, Eurasia. (Greek: perhaps from Polemon, Athenian philosopher, or polemos, strife or war) [Pritchett 1993 M.S. Thesis, San Francisco State Univ; Stubbs & Patterson 2013 Madroño 60:243–248] Perennial herb generally cross-pollinated, annual self-pollinated. Polemonium eddyense newly described; Polemonium pulcherrimum var. shastense newly recognized.
Unabridged references: [Grant 1989 Bot Gaz 150:158–169; Pritchett & Patterson 1998 Madroño 45:200–209]

Key to Polemonium

1. Annual; flowers 1–2 in axils ..... P. micranthum

1' Perennial herb; flowers generally clustered at stem tips

2. Leaflets 2–5-lobed; inflorescence a dense, rounded head

3. Style included; petiole base generally not membranous ..... P. eximium

3' Style slightly or much exserted; petiole base membranous

4. Calyx lobes acuminate; pistil 5–10 mm, style slightly exserted; petioles 1–5 cm ..... P. chartaceum

4' Calyx lobes rounded; pistil 10.3–13.8 mm, style much exserted; petioles 0.5–1 cm ..... P. eddyense

2' Leaflets entire; inflorescence various but not head-like

5. Plant not cespitose, stems generally solitary, erect, 40–100 cm; leaves cauline

6. Corolla lobes generally white to pale pink to rarely purple (often purple on herbarium specimens); leaflets elliptic ..... P. carneum

6' Corolla lobes purple to generally blue; leaflets lanceolate ..... P. occidentale

5' Plant cespitose, stems clumped or tufted, decumbent to erect, 5–25 cm; leaves ± basal

7. Terminal leaflet ± fused with adjacent pair; corolla limb 7–15 mm diam; dry, open to shaded areas in montane forest ..... P. californicum

7' Terminal leaflet generally free from adjacent pair; corolla limb 5–11 mm diam; subalpine to alpine talus ..... P. pulcherrimum

8. Corolla lobes blue to purple; herbage sparsely glandular-hairy ..... var. pulcherrimum

8' Corolla lobes white, generally with pink veins or tinge (individual flowers or plants rarely without pink); herbage densely glandular-hairy ..... var. shastense


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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