Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
For up-to-date information about California vascular plants, visit the Jepson eFlora.



Lawrence R. Heckard, Family Coordinator

Annual to shrubs, generally glandular, some green root-parasites
Stem generally round
Leaves generally alternate, simple, generally ± entire; stipules generally 0
Inflorescence: spike to panicle, generally bracted, or flowers 1–2 in axils
Flower bisexual; calyx lobes generally 5; corolla generally strongly bilateral, generally 2-lipped (upper lip generally 2-lobed, lower lip generally 3-lobed); stamens generally 4 in 2 pairs, generally included, a 5th (generally uppermost) sometimes present as a staminode; pistil 1, ovary superior, chambers generally 2, placentas axile, style 1, stigma lobes generally 2
Fruit: capsule, generally ± ovoid, loculicidal or septicidal
Seed: coat sculpture often characteristic
Genera in family: ± 200 genera, 3000 species: ± worldwide; some cultivated as ornamental (e.g., Antirrhinum, Mimulus, Penstemon ) or medicinal (Digitalis )
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated to include only Buddleja, Scrophularia, and Verbascum in CA; other genera moved to Orobanchaceae (Castilleja, Cordylanthus, Orthocarpus, Pedicularis, Triphysaria), Phrymaceae (Mimulus), and Plantaginaceae (= Veronicaceae sensu Olmstead et al.)
Key to genera by Elizabeth Chase Neese & Margriet Wetherwax.



Margriet Wetherwax

Biennial, perennial herb
Stem erect
Leaves basal and cauline, alternate; lowermost in a rosette
Inflorescence: raceme, 1-sided, bracted
Flower nodding; calyx deeply 5-lobed; corolla ± bilateral, long-bell-shaped, lowest 3 lobes forming a prominent lip; stamens 4, in 2 pairs, included; stigmas 2, flat
Species in genus: 30 species: Eur (especially Medit), w&c Asia; some cultivated as ornamental or as source of the cardiac glycoside digitalis, a medically important heart stimulant
Etymology: (Latin: finger, from corolla shape)


D. purpurea L.

Generally biennial
Stem < 18 dm, simple, gray-tomentose and glandular, especially upward
Leaf 10–30 cm; petiole winged; blade lanceolate to ovate, margins crenate to dentate, upper surface green and soft-hairy, lower surface gray-tomentose
Inflorescence: pedicel 6–25 mm, tomentose; flowers many
Flower: calyx lobes < 1.8 cm, lanceolate to ovate; corolla 4–6 cm, white to pink-purple with darker spots on lower inside surface, lobes ciliate, sparsely long-hairy inside; stamens, style included
Fruit ± 12 mm, ovoid
Seeds many, ± 0.5 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=56
Ecology: Acid soil in open woodlands, disturbed places
Elevation: < 1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Outer North Coast Ranges, n Sierra Nevada Foothills, San Francisco Bay Area, Outer South Coast Ranges
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia; native to w Europe, nw Africa
All parts TOXIC, unpalatable to livestock; leaves may be mistaken for comfrey or sage—tea and salad containing them have been fatal to humans.

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bioregional map for DIGITALIS%20purpurea 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 Digitalis purpurea
Retrieve dichotomous key for Digitalis
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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