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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.



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, simple to branched caudex, rhizome, or tuber
Stems 1–several, erect, generally simple
Leaves simple to 1-ternate, blade or leaflet toothed to dissected; basal leaves rosetted, petioled, in flower or fruit withered or persistent; cauline leaves generally 2–3, in 1–2 whorls, petiole 0 to short
Inflorescence terminal; peduncles 1–5, erect, 1-flowered, in fruit elongated
Flower radial; receptacle in fruit elongated; sepals 5–8(10), petal-like; petals 0; pistils many, styles in fruit generally persistent, generally glabrous to puberulent
Fruit: achenes, densely clustered
Species in genus: ± 100 species: temp worldwide
Etymology: (Greek: flower shaken by wind)
Some species cultivated for ornamental. Plants with long, plumose styles sometimes separated as Pulsatilla.


A. multifida Poir.


Plant (5)15–50 cm; caudex branched
Stems 1–several; hairs soft
Leaves dissected; basal few–many, petioles 3–12 cm, soft-hairy, blades 2–9 cm, segments lanceolate to oblong, generally 2–4 mm wide; cauline segments 2–5(7) mm wide, petioles generally ± 0
Inflorescence: flowers 1–3
Flower: sepals 5–8, 6–12 mm, yellowish to purplish, lower surface soft-hairy
Fruit: cluster generally ovoid to spheric, 10–20 mm, woolly to densely silky; styles 1–2 mm
Chromosomes: n=16
Ecology: Open, gravelly or rocky slopes, subalpine
Elevation: 1800–2750 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges (Marble Mtns, Siskiyou Co.), n High Sierra Nevada (The Dardanelles, Alpine Co.)
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, e Canada, Colorado, also Chile
Horticultural information: In cultivation.

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