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Vascular Plants of California
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Platystemon californicus

Higher Taxonomy
Family: PapaveraceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to small tree; sap colorless, yellow, orange, red, or white. Leaf: basal, cauline, or both, simple and entire, toothed, or lobed, or 1--3-pinnate-dissected or compound; cauline generally alternate; stipules 0. Inflorescence: terminal, 1-flowered or cyme, raceme, or panicle; bracts generally present. Flower: bisexual, radial, bilateral, or biradial; sepals 2--3, shed after flower; petals generally 2 × sepals in number; stamens generally many; ovary 1, superior, chamber 1, style 0 or 1, stigmas or lobes 2--many, ovules few to many. Fruit: capsule, dehiscent by valves or pores, +- nut, or breaking transversely into 1-seeded, indehiscent units. Seed: fleshy appendage generally 0.
Genera In Family: 25--30 genera, 200 species: northern temperate, northern tropics; some cultivated (Papaver, Eschscholzia, Hunnemannia), source of opiates. Note: Stylomecon moved to Papaver. Corydalis, Dicentra, Fumaria in Fumariaceae in FNANM, elsewhere. Glaucium flavum Crantz is a waif. According to FNANM (3:300--301), Hunnemannia fumariifolia Sweet (+- like Eschscholzia except sepals free) an occasional waif in California, but documentation evidently lacking. Fleshy appendage of seed sometimes for dispersal by ants.
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary L. Hannan & Curtis Clark, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: PlatystemonView Description 

Species In Genus: 1 sp. Etymology: (Greek: wide stamen)
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary L. Hannan
Platystemon californicus Benth.
Habit: Annual 3--30 cm, shaggy-hairy; sap colorless to orange. Leaf: basal and cauline, alternate and whorled, 1--9 cm, linear to lanceolate or narrowly oblong, entire. Inflorescence: axillary and terminal, 1-flowered; peduncle 3.4--26 cm, > leaves. Flower: buds nodding; sepals 3, hairy; petals 6, free, 6--19 mm, narrowly ovate to obovate, cream with yellow base, tip, or both (or all yellow), often persistent after flower; stamens > 12, free, filaments flat; carpels generally 9--18, fused, glabrous to densely long-hairy, separating in fruit. Fruit: 10--16 mm, ovoid to widely linear, generally narrowed between seeds, breaking transversely into 1-seeded, indehiscent units. Seed: 1 mm, elliptic to reniform, smooth, black.
Ecology: Open grassland, sandy soil, burns; Elevation: < 1000 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP, w D; Distribution Outside California: to Oregon, Utah, Arizona, Baja California. Flowering Time: Mar--May Note: Highly variable; further study needed to determine if plants of southern ChI (Santa Barbara Island), described as Platystemon californicus var. ciliatus Dunkle, Santa Barbara Island cream cups, deserve taxonomic recognition.
Synonyms: Platystemon californicus var. ciliatus Dunkle; Platystemon californicus var. crinitus (Greene) Greene; Platystemon californicus var. horridulus (Greene) Jeps.; Platystemon californicus var. nutans Brandegee; Platystemon californicus var. ornithopus (Greene) Munz; Platystemon californicus var. sphaerocarpus Brandegee; Platystemon crinitus Greene
Jepson eFlora Author: Gary L. Hannan
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Botanical illustration including Platystemon californicus

botanical illustration including Platystemon californicus


Citation for this treatment: Gary L. Hannan 2012, Platystemon californicus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 19, 2019.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2019, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 19, 2019.

Platystemon californicus
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© 2007 California Academy of Sciences
Platystemon californicus
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© 2007 George W. Hartwell
Platystemon californicus
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© 2016 California Academy of Sciences
Platystemon californicus
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© 2010 Gary A. Monroe
Platystemon californicus
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© 2004 California Academy of Sciences
Platystemon californicus
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© 2014 Steve Matson

More photos of Platystemon californicus in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Platystemon californicus:
CA-FP, w D
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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.