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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
eFlora Treatment Author: Gary L. Hannan
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botanical illustration including Platystemon californicus


Citation for this treatment: Gary L. Hannan 2016. Platystemon californicus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 04, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 04, 2016.

Platystemon californicus
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© 2005 George W. Hartwell
Platystemon californicus
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Platystemon californicus
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© 2007 George W. Hartwell
Platystemon californicus
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© 2009 Aaron Schusteff
Platystemon californicus
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© 2009 Neal Kramer
Platystemon californicus
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© 2009 Keir Morse

More photos of Platystemon californicus in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Platystemon californicus:
CA-FP, w D;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. If the markers are obscured, reload the page [or change window size and reload]. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.
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.