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.



Judith A. Jernstedt

Perennial; bulb ovoid to ± elongate, outer coats white to brown, often very fibrous
Leaves basal, linear, reduced to scarious bracts in inflorescence
Inflorescence: panicle; flowers 1–several per node
Flower: perianth segments 6 in 2 petal-like whorls, free, white, purple, or pinkish, persistent in fruit and twisted together above capsule; stamens 6, attached to bases of perianth parts, anthers attached at middle; ovary superior, chambers 3, style slender, stigma slightly 3-lobed
Fruit: capsule, stalked, loculicidal
Seeds ovoid, black, 1–2 per chamber
Species in genus: 5 species: w North America, especially CA
Etymology: (Greek: green milk or juice)
Reference: [Hoover 1940 Madroño 5:137–147]


C. pomeridianum (DC.) Kunth

Bulb 7–15 cm; coat thick, fibers coarse (except var. minus ), brown
Leaf 20–70 cm, 6–25 mm wide; margins generally wavy
Inflorescence highly branched; pedicels 5–25(35) mm, slender, ± = perianth
Flower opening in evening, closing by next morning; perianth segments spreading, 15–25 mm, linear, white with green or purple midvein, recurved at flower; stamens < perianth, anthers ± 2 mm, purple or yellow, pollen yellow or cream; style 10–15 mm, < to > perianth
Fruit 5–7 mm, spheric to slightly lobed
Ecology: Bluffs, grassland, chaparral, dry open woodland
Elevation: < 1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Sierra Nevada Foothills, w Great Central Valley, Central Western California, Southwestern California
Distribution outside California: sw Oregon

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