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Narthecium californicum

Higher Taxonomy
Family: NartheciaceaeView Description 

Habit: Perennial herb; rhizomes slender, creeping. Stem: simple, glabrous. Leaf: mostly basal, along rhizome, linear, grass-like, densely overlapped, cauline reduced. Inflorescence: raceme. Flower: perianth parts 6 in 2 petal-like whorls, erect in age, lance-linear; stamens 6, epipetalous, filaments densely hairy, anthers attached near middle; ovary superior, shallowly 3-lobed, chambers 3, style minutely 3-lobed. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal, weakly 3-lobed. Seed: many, bristle-tipped at both ends, pale yellow to brown.
Genera In Family: 5 or 6 genera, 17--29 species: generally northern temperate.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: NartheciumView Description 

Stem: erect, +- scapose, 10--70 cm. Leaf: upper 3--6 reduced. Flower: perianth parts free, yellow to green-yellow; stamens 6, filaments woolly; ovary lobes fused into a stylar beak. Seed: brown.
Species In Genus: 4--8 species: northern temperate. Etymology: (Greek: ancient name)

Narthecium californicum Baker
Stem: 20--60 cm. Leaf: basal 10--30 cm. Inflorescence: 8--15 cm; flower bract 1; pedicels overlapped or not, 5--12 mm, bractlets (0)1, generally above middle. Flower: 5--10 mm; anthers 3--4 mm. Fruit: +- 2 × perianth, lanceolate. Seed: 6--9 mm (including bristle-tips). Chromosomes: 2n=26.
Ecology: Wet meadows, streambanks; Elevation: 700--2600 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoRO, CaRH, n&c SNH. Flowering Time: Jul--Aug
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal
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botanical illustration including Narthecium californicum


Citation for this treatment: Dale W. McNeal 2017. Narthecium californicum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 29, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 29, 2017.

Narthecium californicum
click for enlargement
© 1991 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Narthecium californicum
click for enlargement
© 1991 Gary A. Monroe
Narthecium californicum
click for enlargement
© 1991 Gary A. Monroe

More photos of Narthecium californicum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Narthecium californicum:
KR, NCoRO, CaRH, n&c SNH.
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.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.