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 from bulb or rhizome
Stem ± scapose
Leaves many, ± basal (reduced upward), linear, generally folded, ± curved
Inflorescence: raceme or panicle
Flower bisexual, staminate, or sterile; perianth parts 6, petal-like, free or ± fused to ovary base, white to yellowish in CA, glands 1–2 near base; stamens 6, free to ± attached to perianth; ovary chambers 3, styles 3
Fruit: capsule, septicidal
Seeds many
Species in genus: ± 15 species: temp North America, Asia
Etymology: (Greek: yoke-gland, from gland shape of some)
All taxa should be considered highly TOXIC to livestock (generally unpalatable) and humans from alkaloids (especially in bulbs); caused serious illness to some members of Lewis & Clark Expedition.


Z. exaltatus Eastw.

Bulb 60–100 mm, 30–50 mm diam, ± oblong; outer coats dark brown
Stem 60–100 cm, glabrous
Leaf 50–80 cm, 15–30 mm wide, scabrous-ciliate
Inflorescence: panicle, 20–40 cm, open; flowers of lower branches staminate (or with stunted ovary, 3 long styles); pedicels ascending, 10–40 mm
Flower 8–12 mm; perianth parts ovate to elliptic, obtuse, outer subsessile, inner sharply infolded to form a 1–2 mm claw, glands greenish yellow with thick teeth along veins; stamens ± 2/3 perianth; styles erect to ± spreading
Fruit 15–25 mm, oblong
Chromosomes: n=11
Ecology: Meadows, wooded slopes
Elevation: 600–1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Sierra Nevada Foothills
Recent taxonomic note: Toxicoscordion exaltatum (Eastw.) A. Heller
Horticultural information: DRN, SUN, DRY: 2, 7, 9, 14, 15, 16, 19, 20, 21.

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