Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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  • 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.


Perennial from taproot or clustered roots
Stem stout, erect, generally branched, hollow
Leaves: blades oblong to round, simple to ternately, pinnately, or palmately compound (rarely simple), leaflets large, lobed or serrate; uppermost cauline often reduced to enlarged sheaths
Inflorescence: umbels compound, large, often sterile at margins; bracts 0–few, often deciduous; bractlets generally present, persistent; rays, pedicels many, spreading-ascending
Flowers: marginal bilateral, with outer petals > others, 2-lobed; calyx lobes generally 0; petals wide, white, yellowish, or rosy
Fruit oblong-ovate to round or obcordate, very compressed front-to-back; ribs unequal, marginal thin-winged, veined near outer margin, others thread-like; oil tubes per rib-interval 1–2, unequal in length; fruit axis divided to base
Seed: face flat
Species in genus: ± 80 species: Eurasia, e Africa, 1 in North America
Etymology: (Hercules, presumably from large stature of some species)


H. lanatum Michx.


Plant 1–3 m, stout, strong-scented, tomentose
Leaf round to reniform; petioles 1–4 dm, widely sheathing, upper sheaths enlarged, bladeless; blades 2–5 dm wide, ternate, leaflets 1–4 dm wide, ovate to round, cordate, coarsely serrate and lobed
Inflorescence tomentose or long-hairy; peduncle 5–20 cm; rays 15–30, 5–10 cm, unequal; pedicels 8–20 mm
Flower: petals obovate, white
Fruit 8–12 mm, obovate to obcordate, ± hairy
Chromosomes: 2n=22
Ecology: Moist places, wooded or open
Elevation: < 2600 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province, Great Basin Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, e US, Arizona
Flowering time: Apr–Jul
Relationship to some Eurasian taxa unclear; only native sp. in family occurring on both coasts of North America
Horticultural information: 4, 5, IRR: 6, 15, 16, 17, 24 &SHD: 7, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23.

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