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Vascular Plants of California
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Pediomelum californicum

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Fabaceae (Leguminosae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to tree. Leaf: generally alternate, generally compound, generally stipuled, generally entire, pinnately veined Inflorescence: generally raceme, spike, umbel or head; or flowers 1--few in axils. Flower: generally bisexual, generally bilateral; hypanthium 0 or flat to tubular; sepals generally 5, generally fused; petals generally 5, free, fused, or lower 2 +- united into keel (see 3, Key to Groups, for banner, wings); stamens 10 or many (or [1], 5, 6, 7, 9), free or fused or 10 with 9 filaments at least partly fused, 1 (uppermost) free; pistil 1, ovary superior, generally 1-chambered, ovules 1--many, style, stigma 1. Fruit: legume, including a stalk-like base (above receptacle) or not. Seed: 1--many, often +- reniform, generally hard, smooth.
Genera In Family: +- 730 genera, 19400 species: worldwide; with grasses, requisite in agriculture, most natural ecosystems. Many cultivated, most importantly Arachis, peanut; Glycine, soybean; Phaseolus, beans; Medicago, alfalfa; Trifolium, clovers; many orns. Note: Unless stated otherwise, fruit length including stalk-like base, number of 2° leaflets is per 1° leaflet. Upper suture of fruit adaxial, lower abaxial. Anthyllis vulneraria L. evidently a waif, a contaminant of legume seed from Europe. Laburnum anagyroides Medik., collected on Mount St. Helena in 1987, may be naturalized. Ceratonia siliqua L., carob tree (Group 2), differs from Gleditsia triacanthos L. in having evergreen (vs deciduous) leaves that are 1-pinnate (vs 1-pinnate on spurs on old stems, 2-pinnate on new stems) with 2--5(8) (vs 7--17) 1° leaflets, commonly cultivated, now naturalized in southern California. Aeschynomene rudis Benth. , Halimodendron halodendron (Pall.) Voss (possibly extirpated), Lens culinaris Medik. are agricultural weeds. Caragana arborescens Lam. only cult. Ononis alopecuroides L. , Sphaerophysa salsula (Pall.) DC. all evidently extirpated. Cercidium moved to Parkinsonia; Chamaecytisus to Cytisus; Psoralidium lanceolatum to Ladeania.
eFlora Treatment Author: Martin F. Wojciechowski, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Martin F. Wojciechowski, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: PediomelumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: BREADROOT
Habit: Perennial herb, unarmed, gland-dotted, hairs glandular, nonglandular, or both; roots deep, woody, enlarged near ground surface. Stem: main axis erect, nearly 0 to short; branches short, decumbent to ascending, underground or not. Leaf: +- palmately compound, +- basal or clustered near stem tips; stipules at base of plant fused, those above free; leaflets 5--7, elliptic to oblanceolate or widely obovate. Inflorescence: raceme, basal, axillary, or terminal on branches, with 1 sometimes late-deciduous bract and 2--3 flowers per node. Flower: calyx base swollen on top, tube enlarging in fruit; corolla at least partly blue to purple; 9 filaments fused, 1 less so or free; ovary +- hairy, ovule 1, style tip curved to bent, stigma head-like. Fruit: included in calyx except for beak, transversely dehiscent, hairy, rarely glandular. Seed: 1, elliptic, smooth or ridged.
Species In Genus: 21 species: southern Canada to central Mexico. Etymology: (Greek: plain apple) Note: Pediomelum mephiticum (S. Watson) Rydb. incorrectly reported for southern California.
eFlora Treatment Author: Martin F. Wojciechowski & James Grimes
Unabridged Reference: Grimes 1990 Mem New York Bot Gard 61:1--114
Pediomelum californicum (S. Watson) Rydb.
Leaf: stipule 7--10 mm; petiole 8--11 cm; leaflets 5--7. Inflorescence: bract 6.5--8 mm. Flower: 8--12 mm; calyx 9--10.5 mm; banner 10--11 mm. Fruit: ovate to round in outline; body 4--9 mm; beak 1--4 mm, straight, linear. Seed: 5--5.5 mm, reniform, red-brown. Chromosomes: 2n=22.
Ecology: Open chaparral, woodland; Elevation: 1000--2500 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCoRI, s SNF (Kern Co.), CW, TR, PR; Distribution Outside California: Baja California. Flowering Time: Apr--Jul
Synonyms: Psoralea californica S. Watson
Jepson eFlora Author: Martin F. Wojciechowski & James Grimes
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Botanical illustration including Pediomelum californicum

botanical illustration including Pediomelum californicum


Citation for this treatment: Martin F. Wojciechowski & James Grimes 2012, Pediomelum californicum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 20, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 20, 2019.

Pediomelum californicum
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© 2017 Aaron Schusteff
Pediomelum californicum
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© 2014 Neal Kramer
Pediomelum californicum
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© 2015 Keir Morse
Pediomelum californicum
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© 2013 Steve Matson
Pediomelum californicum
click for enlargement
© 2015 Keir Morse
Pediomelum californicum
click for enlargement
© 2017 Aaron Schusteff

More photos of Pediomelum californicum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Pediomelum californicum:
NCoRI, s SNF (Kern Co.), CW, TR, PR
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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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All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

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.