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Amsinckia vernicosa

Higher Taxonomy
Family: BoraginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to shrub or small tree, or non-green root parasite, often bristly or sharp-hairy. Stem: prostrate to erect. Leaf: basal and/or cauline, generally simple, generally alternate. Inflorescence: generally cymes, or panicle-, raceme-, head-, or spike-like, generally coiled in flower (often described as scorpioid), generally elongating in fruit, or flowers 1--2 per axil. Flower: bisexual, generally radial; sepals (4)5(10), fused at least at base, or free; corolla (4)5(10)-lobed, salverform, funnel-shaped, rotate, or bell-shaped, generally without scales at tube base, with 0 or 5 appendages at tube top, alternate stamens; stamens epipetalous; ovary generally superior, entire to 4-lobed, style 1(2), entire or 2-lobed or -branched. Fruit: valvate or circumscissile capsule or nutlets 1--4, free (fused), smooth to roughened, prickly or bristly or not.
Genera In Family: +- 120 genera, +- 2300 species: tropics, temperate, especially western North America, Mediterranean; some cultivated (Borago, Heliotropium, Echium, Myosotis, Nemophila, Phacelia, Symphytum, Wigandia). Toxicity: Many genera may be TOXIC from pyrrolizidine alkaloids or accumulated nitrates. Note: Recently treated to include Hydrophyllaceae, Lennoaceae. Wigandia urens added, as naturalized.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald B. Kelley, Robert Patterson, Richard R. Halse & Timothy C. Messick, family description, key to genera; treatment of genera by Ronald B. Kelley, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Ronald B. Kelley, Robert Patterson, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin, David J. Keil.
Genus: AmsinckiaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual; hairs generally bristly, often bulbous-based. Stem: generally erect, 2--12 dm, generally green. Leaf: basal and cauline, alternate, sessile or lower short-petioled, generally linear to narrow-lanceolate or -oblong, generally not succulent, +- entire. Inflorescence: spike-like cymes, generally +- terminal, tip coiled. Flower: generally radial; calyx lobes 5 or 2--4 (see key); corolla tube generally not constricted, generally orange or yellow (red-orange), appendages generally 0, throat generally open, glabrous, limb on large-flowered taxa generally with 5 dark spots. Fruit: nutlets erect, +- triangular, adaxially generally with exposed elliptic attachment scar, generally with rounded or sharp tubercles.
Species In Genus: 14 species: western North America, southwestern South America, widely alien elsewhere. Etymology: (W. Amsinck, patron of Hamburg Botanic Garden, 1752--1831) Note: Self-compatible; often heterostylous; large-flowered taxa generally cross-pollinated, small-flowered self-pollinated.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald B. Kelley & Fred R. Ganders

Amsinckia vernicosa Hook. & Arn.
Stem: (except inflorescence) +- glabrous, glaucous, +- white to pink below. Leaf: glaucous. Flower: calyx lobes unequal in width and reduced to 2--4 from fusion below middle, notched at tip; corolla 8--12 mm, tube 20-veined near base, limb 2--6(8) mm diam, yellow (to orange-yellow). Fruit: 4--6 mm, lanceolate, gray, smooth, shiny, adaxially with a longitudinal slit-like groove, unforked at base, attachment scar hidden. Chromosomes: 2n=14.
Ecology: Uncommon. Generally shaly slopes; Elevation: 50--1400 m. Bioregional Distribution: s SNF, w SnJV, SnFrB, SCoR, w WTR, DMoj. Flowering Time: Mar--May Note: Homostylous.
Synonyms: Amsinckia vernicosa var. vernicosa
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald B. Kelley & Fred R. Ganders
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botanical illustration including Amsinckia vernicosa


Citation for this treatment: Ronald B. Kelley & Fred R. Ganders 2016. Amsinckia vernicosa, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 26, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 26, 2016.

Amsinckia vernicosa
click for enlargement
© 2010 Neal Kramer

More photos of Amsinckia vernicosa in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Amsinckia vernicosa:
s SNF, w SnJV, SnFrB, SCoR, w WTR, DMoj.
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.