Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

link to manual TREATMENT FROM THE JEPSON MANUAL (1993) previous taxon | next taxon
Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
For up-to-date information about California vascular plants, visit 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, coarse, leafy; rhizome thick
Stem erect, 1–2 m, simple, hollow
Leaves many, alternate, lanceolate to widely ovate, generally acute, clasping, coarsely veined, reduced upward
Inflorescence: panicle; flowers many
Flower bisexual or staminate; perianth parts 6, petal-like, free, widely spreading, white or greenish to red-brown, nectary glands 1–2 near base; stamens 6, attached to perianth; ovary slightly inferior, chambers 3, styles 3, short, stigmas long
Fruit: capsule, septicidal
Species in genus: ± 25 species: n temp
Etymology: (Latin: dark roots)
Alkaloids used medicinally and TOXIC to both livestock and humans.


V. californicum Durand var. californicum

Leaves ovate; lower 20–40 cm, tomentose-ciliate, lower surface curly-hairy, upper surface glabrous or veins sparsely short-hairy
Inflorescence erect, generally 30–60 cm, tomentose; branches ascending or spreading; pedicels 1–6 mm
Flower 10–15 mm; perianth parts elliptic to obovate, white or greenish, glabrous to sparsely woolly below, entire to ± dentate, glands 1–2, Y-shaped, green; stamens 1/2–2/3 perianth length; ovary glabrous
Fruit 2–3 cm, narrowly ovoid
Seed 10–12 mm, ± winged
Chromosomes: n=16
Ecology: Streambanks, moist meadows, forest edges
Elevation: ± 1000–3500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, Modoc Plateau,East of Sierra Nevada (Sweetwater Mtns)
Distribution outside California: to Washington, Montana, Colorado, Mexico
Flowering time: Jul–Aug
Horticultural information: WET: 1, 2, 6, 7.

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bioregional map for VERATRUM%20californicum%20var.%20californicum being generated
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Veratrum californicum var. californicum
Retrieve dichotomous key for Veratrum
Retrieve multiple-entry key (MEKA) for Veratrum
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions | Get lists of plants in a bioregion
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