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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).
Bulb 20–60 mm, 20–50 mm diam, ovoid; outer coat dark brown. Stem: 30–100 cm, glabrous. Leaf: 20–60 cm, 5–30 mm wide, scabrous-ciliate. Inflorescence: panicle, 20–40 cm, open; bracts 3–25 mm, green to white-membranous; pedicels in fruit spreading, 10–40 mm. Flower: bisexual except on lower branches staminate or with stunted ovary, 3 long styles; perianth parts 5–12 mm, ovate to elliptic, obtuse, outer ± not clawed, inner clawed 1–2 mm, gland distal margin evident, dentate; stamens 2/3–3/4 perianth; styles erect to ± spreading. Fruit: 10–25 mm, oblong.
n=11. Meadows, wooded slopes; 600–1500 m. Sierra Nevada Foothills. [Zigadenus exaltatus Eastw.] Apr–Jun [Online Interchange]
Previous taxon: Toxicoscordion brevibracteatum
Next taxon: Toxicoscordion fontanum
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Apr 24 2014
Citation for this treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] 2012. Toxicoscordion, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/cgi-bin/get_IJM.pl?tid=89161, accessed on Apr 24 2014
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© 2010 Belinda Lo
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