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Margriet Wetherwax, except as noted

Annual, perennial herb, shrub; often glandular; root-parasites, roots modified into absorptive structures. Stem: generally round in ×-section. Leaf: generally simple, generally alternate, reduced to ± fleshy scales in non-green plants lacking chlorophyll; stipules generally 0. Inflorescence: spike to panicle, generally bracted, or flowers 1–2 in axils. Flower: bisexual; calyx lobes 0–5; corolla generally strongly bilateral, generally 2-lipped (upper lip generally 2-lobed, lower lip generally 3-lobed), abaxial lobes outside other lobes in bud; stamens epipetalous, 4 in 2 pairs (sometimes 1 pair sterile), additional staminode 0(1), anther sacs unequal; ovary superior, chambers 1–2, placentas 2–4, parietal, style 1, stigma lobes 0 or 2. Fruit: capsule, generally ± ovoid, loculicidal, valves 2–4. Seed: many, small, angled; surface smooth or netted.
99 genera, 2060 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate and Africa. [Bennett & Matthews 2006 Amer J Bot 93:1039–1051] High yield losses in many crops caused by Orobanche species in Africa, Mediterranean, Middle East, and eastern Europe. —Scientific Editors: Robert Patterson, Bruce G. Baldwin.

Key to Orobanchaceae


Margriet Wetherwax, T.I. Chuang & Lawrence R. Heckard

Annual, green. Leaf: alternate, sessile, entire to 3-lobed. Inflorescence: spike; bracts generally distinct from leaves, 1 per flower, entire to 5-lobed, tips generally colored. Flower: calyx unequally 4-lobed, deepest sinus adaxial; corolla club-shaped, upper lip folded lengthwise, tip rounded, closed, opening directed downward forming a hood enclosing anthers and style, lower lip shorter, ± 3-pouched, (0)3-toothed; stamens 4, anther sacs 2, unequal; style, stigma slender. Fruit: generally ± notched. Seed: generally 8–15, often ± curved, ± keeled, attached at side; coat netted or ridged, tight-fitting.
9 species: western North America. (Greek: straight fruit) [Chuang & Heckard 1992 Syst Bot 17:560–582] Close to Cordylanthus; other species formerly placed here are Castilleja (owl's-clovers) or Triphysaria (Johnny-tuck).

Key to Orthocarpus

O. imbricatus S. Watson
Plant 10–35 cm, ± puberulent. Stem: simple or branched distally. Leaf: 20–50 mm, entire, ± lanceolate. Inflorescence: 2–8 cm; bracts differing abruptly from distal leaves, 10–15 mm, strongly net-veined, with 2 small, lateral lobes from near base, central lobe widely oblong, 5–10 mm wide, ± rose on distal 1/3. Flower: calyx 5–7 mm, hairy, divided 3/4 abaxially and adaxially, 1/4 on sides; corolla 10–15 mm, nearly hidden by bract, ± rose, beak ± 4 mm, ± 0.5 mm > lower lip, with conspicuous, cylindric, hooked tip, cylindric, lower lip moderately pouched, ± yellow, teeth 0.5 mm, triangular, densely puberulent; stigma well included. Fruit: ± 5 mm. Seed: 3–5, dark brown.
2n=28. Mtn meadows, grassy or rocky slopes; 1600–2400 m. Klamath Ranges, Outer North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range; to British Columbia. Jun–Aug [Online Interchange]

Previous taxon: Orthocarpus cuspidatus subsp. cuspidatus
Next taxon: Orthocarpus luteus


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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. Orthocarpus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 27 2015

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click for enlargement Orthocarpus imbricatus
See CalPhotos for additional images
2005 Jennifer L. Kalt

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Orthocarpus imbricatus 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.