Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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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]



Stem erect, equally and repeatedly forked
Leaves cauline, generally simple, entire or toothed
Inflorescence: cymes, dense, terminal, generally paired, subtended by involucre-like ring of bracts, peduncled
Flower: calyx generally 0; corolla funnel-shaped, lobes unequal, throat swollen near base; stamens 3; ovary 2–3-chambered, 1 chamber fertile, 2 chambers empty (sometimes fused into 1)
Fruit ± compressed, grooved vertically
Species in genus: ± 80 species: Eurasia, n Africa
Etymology: (Latin: diminutive of Valeriana )
Reference: [Dyal 1938 Rhodora 40:185–212]


V. locusta (L.) Betcke

Stem 1–4 dm, sparsely hairy; hairs pointed down
Leaves 0.5–3 cm; lower petioled; upper ± sessile; blade obovate to narrowly oblong, entire, upper sometimes dentate
Flower: corolla 1.5–2 mm, white, lobes bluish
Fruit 2–3 mm; fertile chamber flanked by thickened, corky wall on 1 side, by empty chambers on opposite side; groove between sterile chambers narrow, shallow
Chromosomes: 2n=16
Ecology: Moist, generally shaded sites
Elevation: < 1400 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, Outer North Coast Ranges, n Sierra Nevada, n Sacramento Valley, San Francisco Bay Area
Distribution outside California: to Washington, Idaho; native to Europe
Synonyms: V. olitoria (L.) Pollich
Plants from n SNF (Amador Co.) without thickened corky wall and with deep, wide groove between sterile chambers are V. carinata Loisel., native to Eur. Both species cultivated for edible leaves.

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