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Perennial herb, from rhizome or bulb, or rhizomes ending in weakly developed bulbs, scapose or not. Leaf: alternate, whorled, or mostly basal and spirally arranged, deciduous after 1 year or not. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, or flowers 1. Flower: perianth parts 6, in 2 petal-like whorls or of sepals and petals, free or fused below, ± spreading; stamens 6, from perianth, anthers attached at base or near middle; ovary superior or partly inferior, chambers 3, styles 3, persistent. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal or septicidal.
10 genera, 130 species: northern hemisphere. W North America Zigadenus moved to Toxicoscordion. —Scientific Editors: Dale W. McNeal, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Key to Melanthiaceae
Stem: ± scapose. Leaf: ± basal, reduced upward, linear, generally folded, ± curved, entire, deciduous after 1 year. Inflorescence: raceme or panicle; flower bracts 1 (or reportedly 2). Flower: staminate, sterile, or generally bisexual; perianth parts 6, petal-like, free or ± fused to ovary base, white to ± yellow [or not], adaxially with 1 glands near base; stamens 6, free to ± attached to perianth; ovary superior, chambers 3, styles 3. Fruit: capsule, septicidal. Seed: many.Key to Toxicoscordion
± 8 species: central United States, western North America. (Greek: poison garlic, for poisonous bulb) All taxa highly TOXIC (generally unpalatable) to livestock, humans from alkaloids (especially in bulbs). As treated in TJM (1993), Zigadenus polyphyletic, so California members transferred to Toxicoscordion (Zomlefer & Judd 2002 Novon 12:299–308).
Previous taxon: Stenanthium occidentale
Next taxon: Toxicoscordion brevibracteatum
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Mar 2 2015
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2013. Toxicoscordion, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=69362, accessed on Mar 2 2015
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