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©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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



Lincoln Constance

Annual, biennial, perennial herb (rarely shrub, tree), often from taproot
Stem often ± scapose, generally ribbed, hollow
Leaves basal and generally some cauline, generally alternate; stipules generally 0; petiole base generally sheathing stem; blade generally much dissected, sometimes compound
Inflorescence: umbel or head, simple or compound, generally peduncled; bracts present (in involucres) or not; bractlets generally present (in involucels)
Flowers many, small, generally bisexual (or some staminate), generally radial (or outer bilateral); calyx 0 or lobes 5, small, atop ovary; petals 5, free, generally ovate or spoon-shaped, generally incurved at tips, generally ± ephemeral; stamens 5; pistil 1, ovary inferior, 2-chambered, generally with a ± conic, persistent projection or platform on top subtending 2 free styles
Fruit: 2 dry, 1-seeded halves that separate from each other but generally remain attached for some time to a central axis; ribs on each half 5, 2 marginal and 3 on back; oil tubes 1–several per interval between ribs
Genera in family: 300 genera, 3,000 species: ± worldwide, especially temp; many cultivated for food or spice (e.g., Carum, caraway; Daucus; Petroselinum); some highly toxic (e.g., Conium). Underground structures here called roots, but true nature remains problematic. Mature fruit generally critical in identification; shapes generally given in outline, followed by shape in X -section of 2 fruit halves together.


Annual, biennial, perennial herb, shrub, taprooted
Stem decumbent to erect, branched, generally glaucous
Leaves: basal petioled; cauline generally sessile, clasping or fused around stem at base; blades linear to ovate or obovate, simple, generally parallel-veined, margins entire or minutely serrate
Inflorescence: umbels compound; bracts generally present; bractlets generally wide, conspicuous; rays, pedicels few–many, spreading
Flower: calyx lobes 0; petals narrow to wide, yellow or dark purple, tips narrowed
Fruit oblong to round, slightly compressed side-to-side; ribs subequal, thread-like to narrowly winged; oil tubes per rib-interval generally several; fruit axis divided to base
Seed: face ± flat
Species in genus: ± 100 species: Eurasia, s Africa, n North America, 1 reportedly naturalized in CA
Etymology: (Greek: ox rib)


B. lancifolium Hornem.

Plant 0.5–5 dm, glaucous
Leaf: basal 3–10 cm, linear to oblong-lanceolate; cauline lanceolate to widely ovate, base fused around stem, margin scarious
Inflorescence: peduncles 1–8 cm; bracts 0; bractlets generally 5, > flowers and fruits, leaf-like, ovate to ± round, fused at base; rays 2–3
Flower: corolla yellow
Fruit 2–3 mm, ovate to round, roughened
Chromosomes: 2n=16
Ecology: May be naturalized in gardens
Elevation: generally < 1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: California
Distribution outside California: e US; native to Mediterranean
Flowering time: May–Jun
Reported as B. subovatum Link.

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