Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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Dieter H. Wilken, except as specified

Annual, perennial herb, sometimes aquatic
Leaves generally basal and cauline, generally alternate, simple or compound; petioles at base generally flat, sometimes sheathing or stipule-like
Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flowers solitary
Flower generally bisexual, radial; sepals generally 5, free, early deciduous or withering in fruit, generally green; petals 0–many, free; stamens generally 10–many; pistils 1–many, ovary superior, chamber 1, style 1, generally ± persistent in fruit as beak, ovules 1–many
Fruit: achene, follicle, berry, or utricle-like, 1–many-seeded
Genera in family: ± 60 genera, 1700 species: worldwide, especially n temp, tropical mtns; many ornamental (Adonis, Aquilegia, Clematis, Consolida, Delphinium, Erianthis, Helleborus ), some highly TOXIC (Aconitum, Actaea, Delphinium, Ranunculus )
Reference: [Duncan & Keener 1991 Phytologia 70:24–27]



Perennial from stout, branched caudex
Stems 1–few, ascending to erect, branched to not
Leaves 1–4(5), generally 1–3(4)-ternate, lowest scale-like, fibrous, sheathing
Inflorescence: raceme, axillary or terminal
Flower radial; sepals 3–5, petal-like, early deciduous; petals 4–10, rarely 0, oblanceolate to spoon-shaped; pistil 1, placentas 2, ovules several
Fruit: berry
Species in genus: 5–6 species: temp North America, Eurasia
Etymology: (Greek: ancient name, from wet habitat and similarity to Sambucus leaves)
Fr TOXIC to humans.


A. rubra (Aiton) Willd.


Plant (2)4–8 dm
Stem few-branched above, sparsely puberulent
Leaves 10–70 dm; lower 2–3-ternate, upper 1–2-ternate; segments 2–9 cm, toothed to irregularly cut, lateral lanceolate to ovate, terminal widely ovate to ± round
Inflorescence: pedicels spreading to ascending, 5–8 mm, in fruit 6–15 mm
Flower: sepals 2–3 mm, whitish or purplish green; petals ± = sepals, white; stamens 4–7 mm
Fruit 5–10 mm, red or white, shiny
Chromosomes: n=8
Ecology: Deep soils, moist, open to shaded sites, mixed-evergreen or coniferous forest
Elevation: < 2800 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada (except Tehachapi Mountain Area), San Francisco Bay Area, Outer South Coast Ranges, San Bernardino Mountains
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, ne US
Synonyms: subsp. arguta (Nutt.) Hultén
Horticultural information: SHD: 4, 5, 6 &IRR: 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.

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bioregional map for ACTAEA%20rubra being generated
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Actaea rubra
Retrieve dichotomous key for Actaea
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions | Get lists of plants in a bioregion
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