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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.



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) Perennial herb generally cross-pollinated, annual self-pollinated.
Unabridged references: [Grant 1989 Bot Gaz 150:158–169]

Key to Polemonium

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

1' Perennial herb; flowers generally clustered at stem tips

2. Leaflets deeply 3–5-lobed; inflorescence a dense, rounded head

3. Stamens, style ± exserted; petiole base membranous ..... P. chartaceum

3' Stamens, style included; petiole base green, generally not membranous ..... P. eximium

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

4. Plant erect, generally < 10 dm; leaves cauline

5. Corolla lobes generally pale pink to purple; leaflets elliptic ..... P. carneum

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

4' Plant cespitose, < 3 dm; leaves ± basal

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

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

7. Corolla lobes white; herbage soft-shaggy-hairy ..... var. pilosum

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


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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