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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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



Robert W. Patterson, Family Editor

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, vine
Leaves simple or compound, cauline (or most in basal rosette), alternate or opposite; stipules 0
Inflorescence: cymes, heads, or flowers solitary
Flower: calyx generally 5-ribbed, ribs often connected by translucent membranes that are generally torn by growing fruit; corolla generally 5-lobed, radial or bilateral, salverform to bell-shaped, throat often well defined; stamens generally 5, epipetalous, attached at same or different levels, filaments of same or different lengths, pollen white, yellow, blue, or red; ovary superior, chambers generally 3, style 1, stigmas generally 3
Fruit: capsule
Seeds 1–many, gelatinous or not when wet
Genera in family: 19 genera, 320 species: Am, n Eur, n Asia; some cultivated (Cantua, Cobaea (cup-and-saucer vine), Collomia, Gilia, Ipomopsis, Linanthus, Phlox )
Recent taxonomic note: *See also revised taxonomy of Porter and Johnson 2000 Aliso 19(1):55–91; Porter 1998 Aliso 17:83–85


Dieter H. Wilken

Annual, perennial herb
Stems decumbent to erect, 1–10, 1–10 dm, glandular, hairy
Leaves pinnately compound, alternate; basal petioled; cauline sessile upward; leaflets entire to divided, glabrous to glandular
Inflorescence open to head-like
Flower: calyx bell-shaped, membranous in age but not separated into membrane and ribs, glandular; corolla rotate to funnel-shaped, white to blue or purple; stamens attached at same level, filaments hairy at base
Fruit ovoid to spheric
Seeds 3–10 per chamber, generally 1–3 mm, elliptic to ovate in outline, slightly gelatinous when wet, brown to black
Species in genus: ± 20 species: Am, Eurasia
Etymology: (Greek: perhaps from Polemon, Athenian philosopher, or polemos, strife or war)
Reference: [Grant 1989 Bot Gaz 150:158–169]
Pers generally cross-pollinated, anns self-pollinated.


P. californicum Eastw.

Perennial, cespitose; rhizome generally short
Stem decumbent to erect, < 3 dm; hairs soft
Leaves 5–20 cm; lower leaflets 15–25; upper leaflets 11–19, lanceolate to ovate, ± glabrous; terminal leaflet ± fused with most distal pair
Inflorescence open; pedicels < 10 mm
Flower: calyx 4–8 mm, lobes >> tube, acute; corolla 7–15 mm wide, bell-shaped, lobes > tube, tube white, throat blue or yellow, lobes blue to blue-violet; stamens and style exserted
Chromosomes: 2n=36
Ecology: Open to shaded areas in woodlands
Elevation: 1600–3100 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, High Cascade Range, n&c High Sierra Nevada
Distribution outside California: to Washington
Self-incompatible. Intergrades with P. pulcherrimum at high elevations in SNH
Horticultural information: DRN: 4, 5, 6 &IRR, SHD: 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18; DFCLT.

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