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Lincoln Constance & Margriet Wetherwax, except as noted

Annual to perennial herb [shrub, tree], generally from taproot. Stem: generally ± scapose, generally ribbed, hollow. Leaf: basal and generally cauline, generally alternate; stipules generally 0; petiole base generally sheathing stem; blade generally much dissected, occasionally compound. Inflorescence: umbel or head, simple or compound, generally peduncled; bracts present in involucres or 0; bractlets generally present in "involucels". Flower: many, small, generally bisexual (or some staminate), generally radial (or outer bilateral); calyx 0 or lobes 5, small; petals 5, free, generally ovate or spoon-shaped, generally incurved at tips, generally ± ephemeral; stamens 5; pistil 1, ovary inferior, 2-chambered, generally with a ± conic, persistent projection or platform at tip subtending 2 free styles. Fruit: 2 dry, 1-seeded halves (= mericarps), separating from each other but generally ± persistent to central axis; ribs on halves 5, 2 marginal, 3 to back; oil tubes 1–several per interval between ribs.
300 genera, 3000 species: ± worldwide, especially temperate; many cultivated for food or spice (e.g., Carum, caraway; Daucus; Petroselinum); Bupleurum lancifolium Hornem. is historical garden weed; some toxic (e.g., Conium). Mature fruit generally critical in identification, shape given in outline. Hydrocotyle moved to Araliaceae. Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) A.W. Hill is a waif. —Scientific Editors: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.

Key to Apiaceae


1 sp. (Greek: wedge umbrella, from umbel)

Perennial herb, ± scabrous; root tuberous. Stem: erect, 5–18 dm, generally branched, leafy. Leaf: petiole 1–4 dm; blade 1–4 dm, oblong to ovate, 1–2-pinnate or ternate-pinnate, leaflets 1–12 cm, generally ± lanceolate, acute, sparsely toothed to irregularly cut or pinnately lobed; cauline leaf sheaths enlarged. Inflorescence: umbels compound, tomentose; peduncle 7–40 cm; bracts 0; bractlets many, linear, bristle-like; rays 4–18, 1.5–10 cm, ascending to reflexed; pedicels reduced to a disk; 2° umbels head-like, spheric. Flower: calyx lobes 0; petals obovate, white or ± purple, tips narrowed; styles slender. Fruit: 5–8 mm, wedge-shaped-obovate, compressed front-to-back, tomentose; ribs unequally winged, marginal wider than others; oil tubes per rib-interval 1; fruit axis divided to base. Seed: face ± flat.
2n=22. Wet meadows, streamsides, lakeshores; generally higher elevations; < 3500 m. Inner North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, Great Basin Floristic Province; to Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Baja California. TOXIC to livestock, but rarely eaten. Jul–Aug [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. Sphenosciadium, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on Nov 25 2015

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click for enlargement Sphenosciadium capitellatum
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Robert Potts 2001 California Academy of Sciences

Geographic subdivisions indicated for the distribution of Sphenosciadium capitellatum 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.