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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


Jason A. Koontz & Michael J. Warnock

Perennial herb; root generally < 10 cm, ± fibrous or fleshy; rootstock buds in life generally obscure (0 or obscure on herbarium specimens). Stem: erect, generally 1, generally unbranched; base generally ± as wide as, generally firmly attached to root, generally ± red or purple. Leaf: simple, basal and cauline, petioled; blades generally palmately lobed, deep lobes generally 3–5, generally < 6 mm wide, generally also lobed; cauline proximal generally dry, generally 0 in flower, distal merging into bracts. Inflorescence: raceme or ± branched, terminal; flowers generally 10–25; pedicels generally ± spreading. Flower: bilateral; sepals 5, petal-like, generally spreading, generally ± dark blue, uppermost spurred; petals 4, << sepals, upper 2 with nectar-secreting spurs enclosed in uppermost sepal, lower 2 clawed, with blades (limbs) generally 4–8 mm, 2-lobed, generally ± perpendicular to claws, generally colored like sepals, generally obviously hairy especially on lobes proximally, inner and outer lobes of each blade generally equally hairy; pistils 3(5). Fruit: follicles 3(5), erect, length generally 2.5–4 × width. Seed: generally winged in youth, collar inflated at widest end or generally not, dark brown to black, generally appearing white; coat cell margins generally straight.
± 300 species: arctic, northern temperate, subtropics, tropical mountains worldwide; 3 commonly cultivated as ornamental in North America. (Latin: dolphin, from bud shape) Most species highly TOXIC, attractive to, killing many cattle, fewer horses, sheep. Hybrids common, especially in disturbed places. Root length is of coarse parts only.
Unabridged references: [Lewis & Epling 1954 Brittonia 8:1–22]

Key to Delphinium

D. nuttallianum Pritz. DWARF, MEADOW, SLIM, or SONNE'S LARKSPUR
Roots clustered or not, ± spheric. Stem: 5–50(100) cm, base narrower than root, not firmly attached, glabrous to puberulent. Leaf: generally on proximal 1/5 of stem, ± glabrous; lobes 7–25, < 7 mm wide, >= 6 > 50% to petiole. Inflorescence: pedicels 7–75 mm, 15–50 mm apart, glabrous or puberulent; flowers generally < 12. Flower: sepals generally ± reflexed, generally ± glabrous, lateral 8–18 mm, spur 8–20 mm. Fruit: 7–17 mm, ± curved. Seed: smooth, shiny, collar inflated.
2n=16. Open woodland, sagebrush scrub, meadow edges, streambanks; 300–3300 m. Northwestern California, High Sierra Nevada, Modoc Plateau; to British Columbia, Colorado, northern Arizona. [Delphinium nuttallianum var. fulvum C.L. Hitchc.; Delphinium nuttallianum var. levicaule C.L. Hitchc.; Delphinium sonnei Greene; Delphinium pauciflorum Nutt., illeg.] Hybridizes with Delphinium andersonii, Delphinium depauperatum, Delphinium nudicaule, Delphinium polycladon; extremely difficult, variable complex. May–Jul [Online Interchange]

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Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Delphinium, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015

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click for enlargement Delphinium nuttallianum
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2007 Mary Winter

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Delphinium nuttallianum 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.