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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 20–35 mm diam, ± spheric; outer coat black. Stem: 40–90 cm, glabrous. Leaf: 20–50 cm, 8–30 mm wide, curved, scabrous-ciliate. Inflorescence: panicle or raceme, 5–40 cm, open; bracts 5–50 mm, green; pedicels spreading in fruit, 10–50 mm. Flower: bisexual; perianth parts 5–15 mm, widely ovate, obtuse, outer very short-clawed, inner clawed 2–3 mm, gland distal margin evident, dentate; stamens ± 1/2 perianth; styles erect to ± spreading. Fruit: 10–35 mm, cylindric.
n=11. Grassy or wooded slopes, outcrops; < 1000 m. Northwestern California, c Sierra Nevada Foothills (just w of Chinese Camp, Tuolumne Co.), Sacramento Valley, Central Western California, Southwestern California; Oregon, northern Baja California. [Zigadenus fremontii (Torr.) S. Watson] Feb–Jun [Online Interchange]
Previous taxon: Toxicoscordion fontanum
Next taxon: Toxicoscordion micranthum
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2013. Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html, accessed on Jul 29 2014
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=89163, accessed on Jul 29 2014
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© 2008 Neal Kramer
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