Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Key to families | Table of families and genera | Map
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon
Parnassia palustris

Higher Taxonomy
Family: ParnassiaceaeView Description 

Habit: Perennial herb from caudex or rhizome [annual], generally glabrous, often with +- red marks on leaves, flowers when dry. Stem: scape with generally 1 leaf-like bract [scape 0]. Leaf: simple, basal [cauline], alternate [subopposite], generally petioled, often with +- red marks when dry; veins +- palmate. Inflorescence: 1-flowered [cyme]. Flower: generally bisexual, +- radial; hypanthium minute, free from ovary; calyx lobes generally 5; petals generally 5 [0], free, generally white; stamens generally 5, opposite sepals; staminodes generally 5, alternate stamens, lobes generally present, thread-like to oblong, gland-tipped; pistil 1, ovary superior, chamber +- 1, placentas 4 [3], axile below, parietal above, styles very short, stigmas [3]4. Fruit: [3]4-valved capsule. Seed: many, winged, netted.
Genera In Family: 2 genera, +- 70 species: northern temperate, low arctic, alpine, temp South America (Lepuropetalon, Parnassia). Note: Formerly included in Saxifragaceae.
eFlora Treatment Author: Peter W. Ball
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: ParnassiaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Leaf: basal, blade ovate to reniform, entire, base tapered to cordate. Flower: petals white, with yellow, green or gray-brown lines.
Species In Genus: +- 70 species. Etymology: (Mount Parnassus, Greece)

Parnassia palustris L.
Leaf: 4--14 cm; blade 2--5 cm, lance-ovate, base tapered to cordate. Inflorescence: 15--47 cm; bract generally above scape middle (generally at or below middle in SN) [rarely above middle in North America outside California], elliptic. Flower: calyx lobes 3--11 mm, elliptic, entire, spreading in fruit; petals 8--20 mm, 1.5--2 × sepals, round-ovate, entire; staminodes 5--9 mm, lobes (7)9--27, thread-like, tips spheric; anthers 1.5--2.8 mm. Fruit: 8--12 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=18,36[27,54].
Ecology: Wet banks, meadows; Elevation: < 3600 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoRO, NCoRH, CaRH, SNH, SnFrB, SCoR, SnBr, SNE; Distribution Outside California: to Alaska, eastern Canada; Eurasia. Flowering Time: Jul--Oct
Synonyms: Parnassia californica (A. Gray) Greene; Parnassia palustris var. californica A. Gray; Parnassia palustris var. montanensis (Fernald & Rydb. ex Rydb.) C.L. Hitchc.; Parnassia palustris var. neogaea Fernald
eFlora Treatment Author: Peter W. Ball
Jepson Online Interchange

Previous taxon: Parnassia fimbriata
Next taxon: Parnassia parviflora

Name Search
botanical illustration including Parnassia palustris


Citation for this treatment: Peter W. Ball 2017. Parnassia palustris, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 18, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 18, 2017.

Parnassia palustris
click for enlargement
© 2003 Christopher L. Christie
Parnassia palustris
click for enlargement
© 2006 George W. Hartwell
Parnassia palustris
click for enlargement
© 2003 Christopher L. Christie
Parnassia palustris
click for enlargement
© 2008 Keir Morse
Parnassia palustris
click for enlargement
© 2014 Steve Matson
Parnassia palustris
click for enlargement
© 1995 Julie Kierstead Nelson

More photos of Parnassia palustris in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Parnassia palustris:
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.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.