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Vascular Plants of California
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Mitellastra caulescens

Higher Taxonomy
Family: SaxifragaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Perennial herb from caudex or rhizome, generally +- hairy. Stem: often +- leafy on proximal 1/2, rarely trailing and leafy throughout. Leaf: generally simple, basal and/or cauline, generally alternate, generally petioled; veins +- palmate. Inflorescence: raceme or panicle, generally +- scapose. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial; hypanthium free to +- fused to ovary; calyx lobes generally 5; petals generally 5, free, generally clawed, generally white; stamens 3, [4], 5, 8, or 10; pistils 1 (carpels +- fused, ovary lobed, chambers 1 or 2, placentas generally 2(3), axile or parietal or occasionally proximally axile and distally marginal in ovary lobes) or 2 (carpels free, placentas marginal), ovary nearly superior to inferior, occasionally more superior in fruit, styles generally 2(3). Fruit: capsule (generally 2(3)-beaked, valves generally 2(3), generally equal) or 2 follicles. Seed: generally many, small.
Genera In Family: +- 30 genera, 600 species: especially northern temperate, arctic, alpine; some cultivated (Bergenia, Darmera, Heuchera, Saxifraga, Tellima, Tolmiea). Note: California Mitella moved to Mitellastra, Ozomelis, Pectiantia; Suksdorfia ranunculifolia to Hemieva. Parnassia moved to Parnassiaceae.
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael S. Park & Patrick E. Elvander, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: MitellastraView Description 

Species In Genus: 1 sp. Etymology: (Latin: small cap, from fruit; star, from flower outline)
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael S. Park & Douglas E. Soltis
Mitellastra caulescens (Nutt.) Howell
Habit: Plant 1.5--4.5 dm; rhizome scaly; bulblets 0. Leaf: basal and 1--few cauline; petiole glabrous to +- hairy; blade 2--7 cm wide, +- round, lobes 3--7, teeth sharp. Inflorescence: blooming from tip to base; pedicel 2--8 mm. Flower: hypanthium 2.5--4 mm wide, saucer-shaped, +- fused to ovary; petals yellow-green, lobes 4--7, alternate, linear; stamens 5, alternate petals; filaments >> anthers, +- 2/3 calyx lobes; pistil 1, ovary > 1/2-inferior, chamber 1, placentas 2, parietal, styles 2, +- 0.2 mm, stigmas unlobed, head-like. Fruit: capsule, becoming widely dehiscent, forming splash cup. Seed: many, red-brown (to black), shiny. Chromosomes: 2n=14.
Ecology: Wet shaded areas; Elevation: < 1700 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW (exc NCoRI); Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, Montana. Flowering Time: May--Jul
Synonyms: Mitella caulescens Nutt.;
Jepson eFlora Author: Michael S. Park & Douglas E. Soltis
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Mitellastra
Next taxon: Ozomelis

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Botanical illustration including Mitellastra caulescens

botanical illustration including Mitellastra caulescens


Citation for this treatment: Michael S. Park & Douglas E. Soltis 2012, Mitellastra caulescens, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 12, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 12, 2018.

Mitellastra caulescens
click for enlargement
© 2014 Dana York
Mitellastra caulescens
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© 2017 Steve Matson
Mitellastra caulescens
click for enlargement
© 2017 Steve Matson
Mitellastra caulescens
click for enlargement
© 2014 Dana York
Mitellastra caulescens
click for enlargement
© 2014 Dana York
Mitellastra caulescens
click for enlargement
© 2014 Dana York

More photos of Mitellastra caulescens in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Mitellastra caulescens:
NW (exc NCoRI);
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.