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

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Nancy Morin, except as specified

Annual to tree
Leaves generally cauline, generally simple, generally alternate, petioled or not; stipules 0
Inflorescence: panicle, raceme, spike, or flowers solitary in axils, generally open; bracts leaf-like or not
Flower: bisexual, radial or bilateral, sometimes inverted (pedicel twisted 180°; hypanthium generally present, ± fused to ovary; sepals generally 5; corolla radial to 2-lipped, generally fused (tube sometimes split down back), lobes generally 5; stamens 5, free or ± fused (anthers and filaments fused into tube or filaments fused above middle); ovary inferior, sometimes half inferior, chambers 1–3, placentas axile or parietal, ovules many, style generally 1, 2–5-branched
Fruit: generally capsule, dehiscing on sides or at tip by pores or short valves
Seeds many
Genera in family: ± 70 genera, ± 2000 species: worldwide. Some cultivated for ornamental (Campanula, Jasione, Lobelia ). Subfamilies sometimes treated as different families.


Tina Ayers

Annual, glabrous
Stem decumbent to erect, (10)20–40 cm
Leaves cauline, often deciduous before flower, << flower bracts, 0.5–2(4) mm wide, lanceolate to awl-like (uppermost sometimes wider), sessile, generally entire
Inflorescence: spike; terminal flowers often aborted, overtopped by fertile
Flower sessile, generally inverted at full bloom by twisted ovary; corolla generally >> calyx, blue to pink or white, generally with a symmetric white or yellow spot on lower lip, tube entire, limb strongly 2-lipped, generally 2 lobes of upper lip < 3 of lower; stamens fused (filaments, anthers in tubes), generally 2 smaller anthers each with terminal tuft of bristles, 1 triangular or horn-like, generally 0.2–0.5 mm, others linear, shorter; ovary pedicel-like, chambers 1–2, placentas parietal or axile
Fruit dehiscent by 3–5 lateral slits
Species in genus: 13 species: w North America, Chile
Etymology: (A.J. Downing, American horticulturist, 1815–1852)
Reference: [Weiler 1962 PhD Univ of CA Berkeley]
Fl part positions (upper = next to stem; lower = away from stem) given at full bloom.


D. bella Hoover

Flower: corolla 10–12 mm, glabrous, lateral sinuses ± = upper, lower lip blue with a central white field including 2 yellow spots, 2 raised nipples, generally alternate 3 small purple spots at throat, lower lobes obovate, obtuse, abruptly toothed; anthers included in corolla tube, < 45° to filaments; ovary 2-chambered, placentas axile
Fruit 18–60 mm; lateral walls tough, tardily dehiscent with no evident translucent lines
Seed longitudinally striate
Chromosomes: n=11
Ecology: Uncommon. Vernal pools
Elevation: < 200 m (GV), 1400–1600 m (SCo, WTR).
Bioregional distribution: Great Central Valley (Colusa to Tulare cos.), South Coast (Santa Rosa Plateau, Riverside Co.), Western Transverse Ranges (extreme n Ventura, s Kern cos.). Some plants in n Sutter Co. have a minute corolla horn similar to that of D. ornatissima ; plants in SCo, WTR (fruit < 30 mm, nectar guides ± unusual), possibly distinct
Horticultural information: TRY.

previous taxon | next taxon
bioregional map for DOWNINGIA%20bella being generated

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Downingia bella
Retrieve dichotomous key for Downingia
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
Return to the Jepson Interchange main page
Return to treatment index page

University & Jepson Herbaria Home Page |
General Information | University Herbarium | Jepson Herbarium |
Visiting the Herbaria | On-line Resources | Research |
Education | Related Sites
Copyright © by the Regents of the University of California