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.



Dale W. McNeal, except as specified

Perennial to trees, from membranous bulb, fibrous corm, scaly rhizome, or erect caudex
Stem generally underground
Leaves generally basal, often withering early, alternate, generally ± linear
Inflorescence various, generally bracted
Flower generally bisexual, generally radial; perianth often showy, segments generally 6 in two petal-like whorls (outer sometimes sepal-like), free or fused at base; stamens 6 (or 3 + generally 3 ± petal-like staminodes), filaments sometimes attached to perianth or fused into a tube or crown; ovary superior or inferior, chambers 3, placentas generally axile, style generally 1, stigmas generally 3
Fruit: generally capsule, loculicidal or septicidal (berry or nut)
Genera in family: ± 300 genera, 4600 species: especially ± dry temp and subtropical; many cultivated for ornamental or food; some TOXIC. Here includes genera sometimes treated in Agavaceae, Amaryllidaceae, and other families.


Perennial, dioecious; caudex generally large, tuber-like
Stem climbing or trailing, sometimes woody below, often prickly, scaly below, leafy above
Leaves alternate, simple, deciduous or persistent, strongly veined; base rounded to sagittate; petiole generally with 2 tendrils near base
Inflorescence: umbels or clusters, axillary
Flower: perianth parts 6, petal-like, free, white to greenish or yellowish; stamens 6, free; ovary superior, chambers generally 3, style ± 0, stigmas 3, spreading
Fruit: berry, spheric, black, red, or purple (white)
Seeds 1–6, black
Species in genus: ± 350 species: especially tropical, also temp North America, e Asia
Etymology: (Greek: origin uncertain)


S. jamesii G.A. Wallace


Perennial vine with central pith; rhizome long, ± zigzag
Stem 2–3 m, smooth, shiny, unarmed
Leaf 5–8 cm, triangular to ± ovate, acute or rigid-tipped; base truncate to ± cordate; upper surface dark green; lower surface glaucous, minutely papillate
Inflorescence: staminate flowers generally < 20; pistillate flowers generally < 40; peduncles stout, ± erect, staminate 5–8 cm, pistillate 5–13.5 cm
Flower ± 2.5 mm; perianth parts ± 1.5 mm wide, spreading or reflexed, elliptic to oblong
Fruit 6–8 mm, probably dark blue (drying dull maroon)
Seeds 6
Ecology: Lakesides, streambanks, alder thickets in montane coniferous forest
Elevation: generally 1500–2500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, Cascade Range?.Member of S. herbacea L. complex
Horticultural information: In cultivation.
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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