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Key to families | Table of families and genera

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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


Bruce D. Parfitt & Dieter H. Wilken

Annual [perennial herb] generally from taproot. Stem: erect, 1–few, branched or not. Leaf: 2–3[many]-pinnately dissected, cauline, alternate; segments generally linear. Inflorescence: raceme or flower 1, terminal or axillary. Flower: sepals 5, generally ± green; petals 5–20; pistils many. Fruit: achene, rough to wrinkled or ridged, beaked.
± 35 species: temperate Eurasia, northern Africa; some cultivated as ornamental. (Greek: Adonis of mythology, from whose blood the plant allegedly grew)

Plant 3–7 dm, glabrous. Leaf: 2–7 cm. Flower: sepals 5–8 mm, obovate to oblong; petals (6)8–10, 8–15 mm, oblong to oblanceolate, yellow to orange, bases ± purple; anthers ± purple. Fruit: 4–5 mm, 3.5–5 mm wide, minute-ridged laterally below middle, abaxial keel base with rounded tooth, beak 1–2 mm, straight, receptacle 1.5–3 cm.
Disturbed sites, fields, open pine forest; 1200–1400 m. Modoc Plateau; to Washington, Montana, Utah; native to Europe. May–Jul [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Adonis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015

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click for enlargement Adonis aestivalis
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© 1995 Saint Mary's College of California

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Adonis aestivalis Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.