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.



Dieter H. Wilken, except as specified

Annual, perennial herb, sometimes aquatic
Leaves generally basal and cauline, generally alternate, simple or compound; petioles at base generally flat, sometimes sheathing or stipule-like
Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flowers solitary
Flower generally bisexual, radial; sepals generally 5, free, early deciduous or withering in fruit, generally green; petals 0–many, free; stamens generally 10–many; pistils 1–many, ovary superior, chamber 1, style 1, generally ± persistent in fruit as beak, ovules 1–many
Fruit: achene, follicle, berry, or utricle-like, 1–many-seeded
Genera in family: ± 60 genera, 1700 species: worldwide, especially n temp, tropical mtns; many ornamental (Adonis, Aquilegia, Clematis, Consolida, Delphinium, Erianthis, Helleborus ), some highly TOXIC (Aconitum, Actaea, Delphinium, Ranunculus )
Reference: [Duncan & Keener 1991 Phytologia 70:24–27]



Perennial from stout, branched caudex
Stems 1–few, ascending to erect, branched to not
Leaves 1–4(5), generally 1–3(4)-ternate, lowest scale-like, fibrous, sheathing
Inflorescence: raceme, axillary or terminal
Flower radial; sepals 3–5, petal-like, early deciduous; petals 4–10, rarely 0, oblanceolate to spoon-shaped; pistil 1, placentas 2, ovules several
Fruit: berry
Species in genus: 5–6 species: temp North America, Eurasia
Etymology: (Greek: ancient name, from wet habitat and similarity to Sambucus leaves)
Fr TOXIC to humans.


A. rubra (Aiton) Willd.


Plant (2)4–8 dm
Stem few-branched above, sparsely puberulent
Leaves 10–70 dm; lower 2–3-ternate, upper 1–2-ternate; segments 2–9 cm, toothed to irregularly cut, lateral lanceolate to ovate, terminal widely ovate to ± round
Inflorescence: pedicels spreading to ascending, 5–8 mm, in fruit 6–15 mm
Flower: sepals 2–3 mm, whitish or purplish green; petals ± = sepals, white; stamens 4–7 mm
Fruit 5–10 mm, red or white, shiny
Chromosomes: n=8
Ecology: Deep soils, moist, open to shaded sites, mixed-evergreen or coniferous forest
Elevation: < 2800 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada (except Tehachapi Mountain Area), San Francisco Bay Area, Outer South Coast Ranges, San Bernardino Mountains
Distribution outside California: to Alaska, ne US
Synonyms: subsp. arguta (Nutt.) Hultén
Horticultural information: SHD: 4, 5, 6 &IRR: 1, 2, 3, 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18.

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