Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

link to manual TREATMENT FROM THE JEPSON MANUAL (1993) previous taxon | next taxon
Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Nancy Morin, except as specified

Annual to tree
Leaves generally cauline, generally simple, generally alternate, petioled or not; stipules 0
Inflorescence: panicle, raceme, spike, or flowers solitary in axils, generally open; bracts leaf-like or not
Flower: bisexual, radial or bilateral, sometimes inverted (pedicel twisted 180°; hypanthium generally present, ± fused to ovary; sepals generally 5; corolla radial to 2-lipped, generally fused (tube sometimes split down back), lobes generally 5; stamens 5, free or ± fused (anthers and filaments fused into tube or filaments fused above middle); ovary inferior, sometimes half inferior, chambers 1–3, placentas axile or parietal, ovules many, style generally 1, 2–5-branched
Fruit: generally capsule, dehiscing on sides or at tip by pores or short valves
Seeds many
Genera in family: ± 70 genera, ± 2000 species: worldwide. Some cultivated for ornamental (Campanula, Jasione, Lobelia ). Subfamilies sometimes treated as different families.


Tina Ayers

Annual, glabrous
Stem decumbent to erect, (10)20–40 cm
Leaves cauline, often deciduous before flower, << flower bracts, 0.5–2(4) mm wide, lanceolate to awl-like (uppermost sometimes wider), sessile, generally entire
Inflorescence: spike; terminal flowers often aborted, overtopped by fertile
Flower sessile, generally inverted at full bloom by twisted ovary; corolla generally >> calyx, blue to pink or white, generally with a symmetric white or yellow spot on lower lip, tube entire, limb strongly 2-lipped, generally 2 lobes of upper lip < 3 of lower; stamens fused (filaments, anthers in tubes), generally 2 smaller anthers each with terminal tuft of bristles, 1 triangular or horn-like, generally 0.2–0.5 mm, others linear, shorter; ovary pedicel-like, chambers 1–2, placentas parietal or axile
Fruit dehiscent by 3–5 lateral slits
Species in genus: 13 species: w North America, Chile
Etymology: (A.J. Downing, American horticulturist, 1815–1852)
Reference: [Weiler 1962 PhD Univ of CA Berkeley]
Fl part positions (upper = next to stem; lower = away from stem) given at full bloom.


D. insignis Greene

Flower: corolla 9–15 mm, glabrous, lateral sinuses > upper, lower lip bright blue with prominent dark blue veins, central white field including near throat 2 yellow, ovate spots and a dark purple band or 3 distinct spots, lower lobes ovate, obtuse, abruptly toothed; anthers ± 90° to filaments; ovary 2-chambered, placentas axile
Fruit (25)45–80 mm; lateral walls tough, tardily dehiscent with no evident translucent lines
Seed longitudinally striate
Chromosomes: n=11
Ecology: Vernal pools, roadside ditches, lake margins
Elevation: < 1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: n High Sierra Nevada, c Great Central Valley (Glenn to Stanislaus cos.), Modoc Plateau
Distribution outside California: w Nevada
Horticultural information: TRY.

previous taxon | next taxon
bioregional map for DOWNINGIA%20insignis being generated

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Downingia insignis
Retrieve dichotomous key for Downingia
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions | Get lists of plants in a bioregion
Return to the Jepson Interchange main page
Return to treatment index page

University & Jepson Herbaria Home Page |
General Information | University Herbarium | Jepson Herbarium |
Visiting the Herbaria | On-line Resources | Research |
Education | Related Sites
Copyright © by the Regents of the University of California