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Perennial herb from membranous bulb or scaly rhizome. Stem: underground or erect, branched or not. Leaf: basal or cauline, alternate, subopposite, or whorled. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, ± umbel-like or not. Flower: perianth parts 6 in 2 generally petal-like whorls, often showy; stamens 3 or 6, filaments free or ± fused to perianth, anthers attached at base or near middle; ovary superior or ± so, style 1, entire or 3-lobed. Fruit: capsule or berry. Seed: 3–many, flat or angled, brown to black.
16 genera, 635 species: northern temperate. Users strongly encouraged to protect plants by working around need to see underground parts in using keys, e.g., by trying both leads in couplets solely dependent on such characters. Muscari botryoides (L.) Mill. an historical waif in California. Other TJM (1993) taxa moved to Agavaceae (Agave, Camassia, Chlorogalum, Hastingsia, Hesperocallis, Hesperoyucca, Leucocrinum, Yucca), Alliaceae (Allium, Ipheion, Nothoscordum), Amaryllidaceae (Amaryllis, Narcissus, Pancratium), Asparagaceae (Asparagus), Asphodelaceae (Aloe, Asphodelus, Kniphofia), Melanthiaceae (Pseudotrillium, Stenanthium, Toxicoscordion, Trillium, Veratrum, Xerophyllum), Nartheciaceae (Narthecium), Ruscaceae (Maianthemum, Nolina), Smilacaceae (Smilax), Tecophilaeaceae (Odontostomum), Themidaceae (Androstephium, Bloomeria, Brodiaea, Dichelostemma, Muilla, Triteleia), and Tofieldiaceae (Triantha). North American species of Disporum now in Prosartes. —Scientific Editors: Dale W. McNeal, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Key to Liliaceae
Bulb coat generally membranous, occasionally fibrous. Stem: scapose or leafy, generally erect, generally branched, bulblets in axils of lower leaves or 0. Leaf: generally linear to lanceolate; basal leaf 1, persistent or not; cauline leaves 0–several, occasionally appearing basal, generally smaller upward, withering or not. Inflorescence: often ± umbel-like; flowers 2–many; bracts 0–several, generally opposite, often paired. Flower: perianth ± closed, spheric to oblong, or open, bell-shaped or ± rotate; sepals generally < petals, generally ± lanceolate (ovate), generally ± glabrous; petals generally widely wedge-shaped, occasionally clawed, generally hairy adaxially, nectary near base; stamens 6, filaments ± flat, often dilated at base, anthers generally attached at base or appearing so; style 1, stigmas 3. Fruit: capsule, septicidal; oblong or linear, generally 3-angled or -winged, chambers 3. Seed: many in 2 rows per chamber, flat, generally ± tan or ± yellow, translucent, or irregular dark brown, often net-like.Key to Calochortus
± 67 species: western North America, Central America; many cultivated. (Greek: beautiful grass) Bulbs of some eaten by Native Americans. Many taxa variable, difficult to key.
Unabridged references: [Patterson & Givnish 2003 New Phytologist 161:253–264]
Stem: 40–60 cm, bulblets present. Leaf: basal 20–30 cm, generally withering; cauline reduced upward. Inflorescence: ± umbel-like; flowers 1–3, erect; bracts 2–8 cm. Flower: perianth bell-shaped, base narrowed, parts centrally dark-blotched in bright yellow zone; sepals 20–40 mm; petals 20–40 mm, white to ± yellow or lavender, generally purple-lined near base, sparsely short-hairy near nectary, nectary not depressed, 1 crescent or chevron densely short-brown-hairy; filaments 7–9 mm, slender to dilated below, anthers 8–10 mm, lance-linear to -oblong, acute to obtuse, white to light yellow. Fruit: erect, 5–6 cm, linear, angled. Seed: flat, light yellow to tan.
n=6,7. Common. Open grassland, woodland, dry meadows, yellow-pine forest; < 1700 m. Northwestern California, Cascade Range Foothills, Sierra Nevada Foothills, s High Sierra Nevada, Central Western California, Southwestern California. Hybridizes with Calochortus luteus. Flowers highly variable. May–Jul [Online Interchange]
Previous taxon: Calochortus striatus
Next taxon: Calochortus syntrophus
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Jul 22 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Calochortus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=16764, accessed on Jul 22 2014
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© 2008 Gary A. Monroe
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