Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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



Warren H. Wagner, Jr.

Perennial, small, fleshy, generally glabrous; caudex generally underground, unbranched; roots glabrous, with bulblets or plantlets or not
Leaf generally 1 per caudex per year, divided into 2 facing parts with a common stalk; sterile part separated from fertile at to well above ground, blade simple to compound, veins free and forked (or netted, with included veinlets); fertile part bladeless, bearing sporangia, simple to compound
Sporangia dehiscent into 2 valves, ± 1 mm wide, thick-walled
Genera in family: 3 genera, 70–85 species: ± worldwide, generally rare or overlooked. Fern-like plants with many traits of seed plants. Specimens must be carefully spread and pressed for identification; haploid generation underground, fleshy, non-green, associated with fungi.



Roots smooth, pale or cork-ridged, dark gray, without bulblets or plantlets
Leaf generally deciduous; bud glabrous or hairy; sterile part generally ± 1–3-pinnate (rarely simple or entire), linear to deltate, segments linear to oblong and midribbed or spoon- to wedge- or fan-shaped and not midribbed, veins free, forked, margins entire to dentate or irregularly cut; fertile part 1–3-pinnate, < to > sterile
Sporangia not sunken in axis; stalk 0 or short
Species in genus: 40–50 species: generally temp to arctic or alpine
Etymology: (Greek: bunch of grapes, from clusters of sporangia)
Reference: [Wagner & Wagner 1983 Amer Fern J 73:53–62]
Difficult, needing careful study; most species very uncommon, sporadic; good sampling of populations highly desirable in specimens
Horticultural information: TRY; DFCLT.


B. pinnatum H. St. John


Leaf: sterile part separated from fertile near middle, stalk very short to 0, blade deeply lobed to 2-pinnate, < 8 cm, < 5 cm wide, oblong to deltate, segments ± ascending, < 7 pairs, oblique-ovate to lanceolate-oblong, shiny, bright green, midribbed, margins entire to minutely crenate; fertile part 2-pinnate, 1–2 X sterile
Chromosomes: 2n=180
Ecology: Fields, shrubby slopes
Elevation: probably ± 2000 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges (near Etna Mills, Siskiyou Co.), High Cascade Range (Mount Shasta)
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, Colorado
Synonyms: B. boreale subsp. obtusilobatum (Rupr.) R.T. Clausen
B. lanceolatum (C.C. Gmel.) Angström (sterile leaf part triangular, fertile leaf part branched into 2–4 major axes near base) would key here, might be discovered in mtns of n CA. B. pumicola Coville, Oregon moonwort, of Crater Lake region, OR, has not been found in CA.
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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