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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, taprooted, glabrous
Stem generally spreading, branched
Leaf: blade oblong to ovate, ± ternate-pinnately dissected, segments thread-like to linear
Inflorescence: umbels compound, terminal and lateral, peduncled or not; bracts 0; bractlets few, narrow; rays, pedicels few, suberect, generally ± spreading
Flower: calyx lobes 0; petals oblong to ovate, tips not narrowed, not incurved
Fruit ovate, slightly compressed side-to-side, smooth, tubercled, or short-bristly; ribs low, thread-like; oil tubes per rib-interval 1–3; fruit axis divided at tip
Seed: face grooved
Species in genus: 5 species: s US, Hawaii, s South America
Etymology: (Greek: seed scale, from tubercled or bristly fruit)


S. echinata (DC.) A. Heller

Plant low, spreading, 5–40 cm
Leaf ovate; petiole 3–20 mm; blade 7–25 mm wide, segments 2–18 mm, thread-like
Inflorescence: peduncles 1–5 cm; bractlets few, thread-like to linear, entire or toothed; rays 5–14, 1–15 mm, generally ± ascending, very unequal; pedicels generally < 7 mm, those of central flower of each 2° umbel generally 0
Fruit 1.5–2 mm wide, widely ovate; ribs prominent, short-bristly
Chromosomes: 2n=16,20
Ecology: Very uncommon. Rocky slopes, sandy flats
Elevation: 60–1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Sonoran Desert (Borrego Valley)
Distribution outside California: to se US, n Mexico
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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