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Vascular Plants of California
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Eryngium aristulatum

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to perennial herb [shrub, tree], generally from taproot. Stem: generally +- scapose, generally ribbed, hollow. Leaf: basal and generally cauline, generally alternate; stipules generally 0; petiole base generally sheathing stem; blade generally much dissected, occasionally compound. Inflorescence: umbel or head, simple or compound, generally peduncled; bracts present in involucres or 0; bractlets generally present in "involucels". Flower: many, small, generally bisexual (or some staminate), generally radial (or outer bilateral); calyx 0 or lobes 5, small; petals 5, free, generally ovate or spoon-shaped, generally incurved at tips, generally +- ephemeral; stamens 5; pistil 1, ovary inferior, 2-chambered, generally with a +- conic, persistent projection or platform at tip subtending 2 free styles. Fruit: 2 dry, 1-seeded halves (= mericarps), separating from each other but generally +- persistent to central axis; ribs on halves 5, 2 marginal, 3 to back; oil tubes 1--several per interval between ribs.
Genera In Family: 300 genera, 3000 species: +- worldwide, especially temperate; many cultivated for food or spice (e.g., Carum, caraway; Daucus; Petroselinum); Bupleurum lancifolium Hornem. is historical garden weed; some toxic (e.g., Conium). Note: Mature fruit generally critical in identification, shape given in outline. Hydrocotyle moved to Araliaceae, Orogenia moved to Lomatium, Sphenosciadium moved to Angelica. Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) A.W. Hill is a waif.
eFlora Treatment Author: Lincoln Constance & Margriet Wetherwax, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: EryngiumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Biennial, perennial herb; taprooted, roots clustered, or rhizomes; generally glabrous, +- spiny. Stem: decumbent to erect, generally branched. Leaf: basal rosette, cauline; petioles present or 0; blades linear to triangular-ovate or round, generally pinnately or palmately lobed or dissected (entire), generally sharp-toothed or spine-tipped, net-veined; juvenile leaves linear, segmented. Inflorescence: heads 1--many in cymes, racemes [panicles]; bracts each generally subtend 1 flower, with scarious membrane enclosing ovary, outer > to >> inner, spiny or not on margins and abaxially; rays, pedicels 0. Flower: sepals spine-tipped, generally persistent; petals oblong to ovate or oblanceolate, white to blue or purple, tip long; anthers, styles generally green, occasionally blue; ovary tip projection 0. Fruit: obconic to obovate or narrowly elliptic [round], compressed or not, densely scaly; scales at fruit tip and along juncture of carpels generally larger, longer than on face or base; ribs 0; oil tubes obscure; fruit central axis not obvious. Seed: face generally flat.
Species In Genus: +- 230 species: America, Eurasia, Australia, New Zealand. Etymology: (Ancient Greek name used by Theophrastus) Note: California species variable, intergrading, need study.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston, Michael S. Park & Lincoln Constance
Reference: Marsden & Simpson 1999 Madroño 46:61--64
Unabridged Reference: Sheikh 1983 Madroño 30:93--101
Eryngium aristulatum Jeps.
Habit: Generally glabrous, occasionally puberulent only on leaves or bracts. Stem: decumbent to erect, 1--9 dm, slender to stout, main stem branching 2--5 cm distal to rosette. Leaf: basal < branches; petiole 5--27 cm; blade 3--10 cm, < petiole, lanceolate to oblanceolate, coarsely sharp-serrate, irregularly cut, or lobed. Inflorescence: heads 5--12 mm, +- spheric, in cymes, glabrous, puberulent or rough; peduncle 0.5--1.5 cm; bracts 6--27 mm, linear to lance-linear, margins with 0--few spines proximal to middle, 0--few spines adaxially. Flower: sepals 1.7--2.8 mm, lanceolate to ovate, entire, tip-spine < 1 mm; petals oblanceolate, white; styles 1.5--3.5 mm, occasionally +- purple. Fruit: 1.5--2.5 mm, narrowly elliptic; scales dense, unequal, lanceolate to ovate, acuminate, minutely bristled.
Note: Highly variable.
Unabridged Note: Eryngium aristulatum originally applied to slender, sprawling plants with heads <= 6 mm, fruit scales densely bristly; stout, erect plants with heads > 6 mm, fruits sparsely bristly may deserve recognition as Eryngium oblanceolatum J.M. Coult. & Rose; other varieties may warrant sp. rank.
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert E. Preston, Michael S. Park & Lincoln Constance
Reference: Marsden & Simpson 1999 Madroño 46:61--64
Unabridged Reference: Sheikh 1983 Madroño 30:93--101
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Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston, Michael S. Park & Lincoln Constance 2012, Eryngium aristulatum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 15, 2018.

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

Eryngium aristulatum var. parishii
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© 2016 Keir Morse
Eryngium aristulatum var. parishii
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© 2016 Keir Morse
Eryngium aristulatum var. hooveri
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© 2010 Neal Kramer
Eryngium aristulatum var. hooveri
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© 2007 Janell Hillman
Eryngium aristulatum var. hooveri
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© 2010 Chris Winchell
Eryngium aristulatum var. aristulatum
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© 2018 Neal Kramer

More photos of Eryngium aristulatum var. aristulatum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Eryngium aristulatum:
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).

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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, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.