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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.



Lauramay T. Dempster (except as specified)

Annual, perennial herb, sometimes strongly scented; odor generally disagreeable
Leaves simple, pinnately lobed, or compound; petioles sometimes sheathing; basal ± whorled; cauline opposite, petioled to sessile
Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, or head-like, generally ± dense
Flowers generally bisexual; calyx fused to ovary top, limb 0 or highly modified (if present, lobes generally 5–15, coiled inward, becoming plumose, pappus-like, spreading in fruit); corolla radial to 2-lipped, lobes generally 5, throat generally > lobes, > tube, base generally spurred or swollen, tube slender, long or short; stamens generally 1–3, epipetalous; ovary inferior, chamber generally 1 (sometimes 3 but 2 empty or vestigial)
Fruit: achene, smooth, ribbed, or winged
Genera in family: ± 17 genera, 300 species: generally temp, worldwide except Australia. Some species cultivated (Centranthus ), some medicinal (Valeriana )
Reference: [Ferguson 1965 J Arnold Arbor 46:218–225]



Annual, perennial herb (in CA) from rhizome or short underground caudex, glabrous to soft-hairy
Stem generally erect, 1–several
Leaves: basal simple or pinnately lobed, tapered to petiole; cauline subsessile to ± clasping, pinnately lobed, distal lobe generally > others
Inflorescence: cyme, clustered, ± dense to open, terminal or axillary
Flower: calyx lobes 5–15, generally ± coiled inward, becoming plumose, spreading and persistent in fruit; corolla ± funnel-shaped, white or pink, lobes ± equal, throat >> tube, sometimes swollen near base, tube slender, sometimes obscured by swollen throat; stamens 3; ovary ± 1-chambered
Fruit generally compressed, generally 6-veined vertically
Species in genus: ± 200 species: temp worldwide except Australia
Etymology: (Latin: strength, from use in folk medicine, or after Valerian, a Roman emperor)
Reference: [Meyer 1951 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 38:377–503]


V. californica A. Heller

Plants generally with bisexual flowers, ± glabrous to short-hairy
Stem 2.5–5 dm
Leaves 2–13 cm; basal simple or compound, sometimes deeply 3-lobed, lateral lobes < terminal lobe, blade or terminal lobe ovate-obovate; cauline generally 3–9-lobed, lobe margin entire, finely dentate or few-toothed, terminal lobe generally rounded
Flower: corolla 4–5 mm, cream-white, lobes slightly < throat
Fruit 4–6 mm, ± ovoid
Ecology: Moist places, coniferous forest
Elevation: 1500–3300 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, High North Coast Ranges, Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, Modoc Plateau
Distribution outside California: Oregon, Nevada
Synonyms: V. capitata Link subsp. c. (A. Heller) F.G. Mey
Horticultural information: IRR, DRN: 4, 5, 6, 15, 16, 17 &SHD: 1, 2, 3, 7, 18; DFCLT.

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