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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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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.


Biennial, perennial herb, rhizomed or tap- or tuberous-rooted, glabrous or minutely scabrous
Stem generally spreading or erect
Leaf: blade oblong-ovate to obovate, entire to ternately, palmately, subpinnately, or pinnately lobed, dissected, or compound
Inflorescence: heads simple, in cymes or racemes, dense, of bisexual and staminate (or only staminate) flowers; bracts entire or lobed, < to > heads; bisexual flowers pedicelled or not, staminate generally pedicelled
Flower: calyx lobes prominent, persistent, sometimes fused; petals wide, yellow, red-purple, or greenish white, tips narrowed, often lobed; styles long or short; projection atop ovary 0
Fruit oblong-ovate to round, slightly compressed side-to-side; fruit-halves subcylindric, covered with prickles, scales, or tubercles; ribs 0; oil tubes evident or obscure, regularly or irregularly arranged; fruit central axis not an obvious structure
Seed: face flat or grooved
Species in genus: ± 40 species: temp, ± worldwide
Etymology: (Latin: to heal)
Reference: [Bell 1954 Univ Calif Publ Bot 27:133–230]


S. maritima S. Watson


Plant 8–40 cm, taprooted
Leaf simple, entire to somewhat pinnately lobed or dissected, green or yellowish green; blade 3–8 cm, ovate-cordate to obovate, lobes or segments 0, 3, or 5, obtuse, margins entire to barely toothed
Inflorescence: peduncle 1.5–12 cm; bracts ± 10, 1–4 mm, lanceolate, pointed, < heads; pedicel of bisexual flower 0, of staminate 2.5–3 mm
Flowers: bisexual 3–8; staminate 10–12; calyx lobes 1.5–2 mm, ovate-lanceolate, obtuse, fused at base; corolla yellow; styles 3 X calyx lobes
Fruit ± 5 mm, obovate; prickles stout, curved, inflated, bulbous-based above, nearly 0 below
Seed: face concave
Chromosomes: 2n=16
Ecology: Coastal, grassy, open wet meadows, ravines
Elevation: ± 150 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Francisco Bay Area (apparently extirpated), Central Coast (1 site, San Luis Obispo Co.)
Horticultural information: In cultivation.
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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