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Caltha leptosepala

Higher Taxonomy
Family: RanunculaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, woody vine [shrub], occasionally aquatic. Leaf: generally basal and cauline, alternate or opposite, simple or compound; petioles at base generally flat, occasionally sheathing or stipule-like. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flowers 1. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial; sepals 3--6(20), free, early-deciduous or withering in fruit, generally green; petals 0--many, generally free; stamens generally 5--many, staminodes generally 0; pistils 1--many, ovary superior, chamber 1, style 0--1, generally +- persistent as beak, ovules 1--many. Fruit: achene, follicle, berry, +- utricle in Trautvetteria, in aggregate or not, 1--many-seeded.
Genera In Family: +- 60 genera, 1700 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate, tropical mountains; many ornamental (Adonis, Aquilegia, Clematis, Consolida, Delphinium, Helleborus, Nigella). Toxicity: some highly TOXIC (Aconitum, Actaea, Delphinium, Ranunculus). Note: Taxa of Isopyrum in TJM (1993) moved to Enemion; Kumlienia moved to Ranunculus.
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax & Dieter H. Wilken, family description, key to genera
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: CalthaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb from short caudex [long, slender stolons], generally fleshy, glabrous. Stem: 1--few. Leaf: simple, oblong-ovate to spheric-reniform or cordate, crenate to dentate [entire]; basal petioles > blades. Inflorescence: cyme or flowers 1, terminal or axillary, bracts leaf-like. Flower: sepals 5--12, petal-like, white to yellow; petals 0; pistils 5--many, ovules. Fruit: follicle, sessile to short-stalked, generally beaked. Seed: brown, wrinkled.
Species In Genus: 10 species: worldwide. Etymology: (Greek: ancient name, from bowl-shaped flower)
eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce A. Ford

Caltha leptosepala DC.
Habit: Plant 8--48 cm. Leaf: petiole 3--25 cm, < to > blade; blade 2--9 cm wide, +- crenate. Inflorescence: peduncle generally > leaves, 1--4-flowered. Flower: sepals 5--11, oblong to elliptic. Fruit: 4--15, 7--18 mm; beak straight or +- curved.
Ecology: Marshes, pond margins, streambanks, conifer forest; Elevation: 900--3300 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, CaR, SNH, MP; Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, Montana, New Mexico. Flowering Time: May--Jul
Synonyms: Caltha leptosepala subsp. howellii (Huth) P.G. Smit; Caltha leptosepala var. biflora (DC.) G. Lawson;
Jepson eFlora Author: Bruce A. Ford
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botanical illustration including Caltha leptosepala


Citation for this treatment: Bruce A. Ford 2012, Caltha leptosepala, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 15, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 15, 2018.

Caltha leptosepala
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© 2015 Barry Breckling
Caltha leptosepala
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Caltha leptosepala
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© 2010 Steve Matson
Caltha leptosepala
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© 2013 Gary A. Monroe
Caltha leptosepala
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© 2000 California Academy of Sciences
Caltha leptosepala
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© 2015 Barry Breckling

More photos of Caltha leptosepala in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Caltha leptosepala:
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, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.