Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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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.



Annual to subshrubs, fleshy
Leaves generally simple, generally basal and cauline, alternate or opposite, generally reduced upward
Inflorescence: generally cyme, generally bracted
Flower: sepals generally 3–5, generally ± free; petals generally 3–5, ± free or fused; stamens = to >> sepals, free or epipetalous; pistils generally 3–5, simple (sometimes fused at base), ovary 1-chambered, placenta 1, parietal, ovules 1–many, style 1
Fruit: follicles generally 3–5
Seeds 1–many, small
Genera in family: ± 30 genera, ± 1500 species: ± worldwide, especially dry temp; many cultivated for ornamental. Family description and generic key by Melinda F. Denton and Reid Moran.


Jim A. Bartel

Perennial, fleshy, glabrous
Stem generally caudex or corm-like, generally vertical, branched or not, generally covered with dried leaves or leaf bases
Leaves in basal rosettes, evergreen vernal and ephemeral
Inflorescence: cyme, axillary, 1-sided; bracts leaf-like, alternate
Flower: sepals 5, fused below; petals 5, fused at base, erect to spreading above; stamens 10, epipetalous; pistils 5, ± fused below
Fruit: follicles 5, erect to spreading, many-seeded
Seed < 1 mm, narrowly ovoid, brown, striate
Species in genus: ± 45 species: sw North America
Etymology: (W.R. Dudley, western US botanist, 1849–1911)
Reference: [Moran in Jacobsen 1960 Handb Succ Plant:344–359]
Unopened follicles generally most reliable for posture (erect, spreading, etc.).


D. cymosa (Lem.) Britton & Rose

Stem: caudex 1–3.5 cm wide; branches 0–many
Leaf 1.5–17 cm, 2.5–50 mm wide, generally oblanceolate to spoon-shaped, rarely ovate or linear-oblanceolate, ± glaucous; tip acute, often acuminate to abruptly sharp; rosette 1–20 cm wide
Inflorescence: 1° branches generally 2–4, generally spreading, branched 0–3 X ; peduncle 4–45 cm; terminal branches 1–5(17) cm, 2–10(20)-flowered; pedicel generally 5–15 mm
Flower: sepals 1.5–5 mm, deltate-ovate, acute; petals 7–14 mm, 1.5–3.5 mm wide, fused 1–3 mm, elliptic to lanceolate, narrowly acute, yellow to red
Chromosomes: n=17
Ecology: Rocky outcrops, slopes, talus
Elevation: 50–2700 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, Central Western California (except Central Coast), Transverse Ranges
Distribution outside California: sw Oregon


subsp. costafolia Bartel & Shevock


Stem: caudex 1.5–2 cm wide, cespitose, many-branched
Leaf (1)2–8 cm, 2.5–8 mm wide, linear to linear-oblanceolate, glaucous; rosettes 5–40 per plant, densely packed, 1–5 cm wide
Inflorescence: peduncle 5–15(20) cm; terminal branches 1–4 cm, 2–7-flowered; pedicel 2.5–9 mm
Flower: petals bright yellow
Ecology: Limestone outcrops
Elevation: 1450–1600 m.
Bioregional distribution: s High Sierra Nevada (Tule River, Tulare Co.).

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