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; rhizomes short, spreading
Stem erect, ± scapose
Leaves mostly basal, linear, grass-like, ± 2-ranked; cauline leaves 2–3, on lower 1/3 of stem, sheathing
Inflorescence: raceme, terminal, short
Flower small; perianth parts 6, petal-like, white to greenish or yellowish; stamens 6; ovary superior, 3-lobed at tip, chambers 3, styles 3
Fruit: capsule, 3-beaked from persistent styles, septicidal
Seeds many; coat often ± loose
Species in genus: ± 15 species: n temp, w South America
Etymology: (Thomas Tofield, British botanist, 1730–1799)


T. occidentalis S. Watson subsp. occidentalis

Stem 30–80 cm, ± glabrous below, densely glandular above
Leaf 5–20 cm, 3–8 mm wide
Inflorescence 1–3 cm (–7 cm in fruit), ± head-like; pedicels 1–6 mm, tipped with 3 free to ± fused bracts
Flower 3–6 mm; perianth parts oblong-ovate, inner narrower and > outer; stamens ± = perianth
Fruit 5–9 mm
Seed 0.5–1.5 mm, brown; coat white, spongy, appendaged at 1 end
Chromosomes: n=15
Ecology: Wet meadows, bogs
Elevation: < 3100 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, High Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada
Distribution outside California: sw Oregon
Other subspp. OR to AK, w Can. T. glutinosa Pers. distinct (Can, e North America)
Recent taxonomic note: Triantha occidentalis (S. Watson) R. R. Gates subsp. occidentalis
Horticultural information: WET: 4, 6, 17 &SHD: 1, 2, 15, 16; DFCLT.

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bioregional map for TOFIELDIA%20occidentalis%20subsp.%20occidentalis being generated

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