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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
eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce A. Ford
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botanical illustration including Caltha leptosepala


Citation for this treatment: Bruce A. Ford 2016. Caltha leptosepala, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 02, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 02, 2016.

Caltha leptosepala
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© 2008 George W. Hartwell
Caltha leptosepala
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Caltha leptosepala
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© 2015 Barry Breckling
Caltha leptosepala
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© 2006 George W. Hartwell
Caltha leptosepala
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© 2003 Christopher L. Christie
Caltha leptosepala
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© 2009 Barry Breckling

More photos of Caltha leptosepala in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Caltha leptosepala:
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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).

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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.