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©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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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, glabrous; tubers clustered
Stem erect, generally branched
Leaf: blade linear or oblong to triangular-ovate, ternate, pinnate, or simple; main axis segmented, hollow, sometimes bladeless
Inflorescence: umbels compound; involucre, involucel extremely variable; bracts, bractlets 0 or 1–several, ± inconspicuous; rays, pedicels few–many, spreading-ascending
Flower: calyx lobes conspicuous or minute; petals wide, white or purple, tips narrowed
Fruit oblong to obovate, very compressed front-to-back; ribs unequal, marginal widely thin-winged (wings veined on back at inner margin), others thread-like; oil tubes per rib-interval 1; fruit axis divided to base
Species in genus: ± 6 species: w&e US, Caribbean
Etymology: (Greek: sharp white)


O. occidentalis J.M. Coult. & Rose

Plant 6–15 dm
Leaf: petiole 1–5 dm; blade 12–30 cm, oblong, 1-pinnate, leaflets 5–13, 3.5–9.5 cm, lanceolate to widely ovate, crenate or serrate to irregularly cut; cauline leaves have enlarged petiole, smaller leaflets than basal
Inflorescence: peduncle 6–30 cm; bracts 0–1(8), 5–20 mm, linear, scarious; bractlets like bracts, < 10 mm; rays 12–24, 2–8.5 cm; pedicels 3–15 mm
Flower: calyx lobes conspicuous
Fruit 5–6 mm, oblong or ovate
Chromosomes: 2n=36
Ecology: Bogs, wet meadows, streamsides, often in coniferous forest
Elevation: 1200–2600 m.
Bioregional distribution: Cascade Range Foothills, Sierra Nevada, c San Bernardino Mountains, White and Inyo Mountains
Flowering time: Jul–Aug

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