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Polemonium californicum

Higher Taxonomy
Family: PolemoniaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, shrub, vine. Leaf: simple or compound, cauline (or most basal), alternate or opposite; stipules 0. Inflorescence: cymes, heads, clusters, or flower 1; bracts in involucres or not. Flower: sepals generally 5, fused at base, translucent membrane generally connecting lobes, torn by fruit; corolla generally 5-lobed, radial or bilateral, salverform to bell-shaped, throat often well defined; stamens generally 5, epipetalous, attached at >= 1 level, filaments of >= 1 length, pollen white, yellow, blue, or red; ovary superior, chambers generally 3, style 1, stigmas generally 3. Fruit: capsule. Seed: 1--many, when wetted swelling or not, gelatinous or not.
Genera In Family: 26 genera, 314 species: America, northern Europe, northern Asia; some cultivated (Cantua, Cobaea (cup-and-saucer vine), Collomia, Gilia, Ipomopsis, Linanthus, Phlox). Note: Leptodactylon moved to Linanthus.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert Patterson, family description, key to genera
Scientific Editor: Robert Patterson, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: PolemoniumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb. Stem: decumbent to erect, 10--100 cm, glandular-hairy, hairy, or glabrous. Leaf: pinnate-compound, alternate; basal petiole base membranous or not, sheathing or not; cauline sessile above; leaflets entire to divided, glabrous to glandular-hairy. Inflorescence: cyme or head. Flower: calyx bell-shaped, membranous in age but not separated into membrane and lobes, glandular-hairy; corolla rotate to funnel- or bell-shaped, tube << throat, lobes white to blue or purple; stamens attached at 1 level, filaments hairy at base; ovary generally +- 1 mm, +- 1 mm wide. Fruit: ovoid to spheric. Seed: <= 10, generally 1--3 mm, elliptic to ovate, +- gelatinous when wet, brown to black.
Species In Genus: +- 30 species: America, Eurasia. Etymology: (Greek: perhaps from Polemon, Athenian philosopher, or polemos, strife or war) Note: Perennial herb generally cross-pollinated, annual self-pollinated. Polemonium eddyense newly described; Polemonium pulcherrimum var. shastense newly recognized.
eFlora Treatment Author: Rebecca L. Stubbs, Ruth E. Timme & Dieter H. Wilken

Polemonium californicum Eastw.
Habit: Perennial herb, cespitose, soft-hairy; rhizomed. Stem: decumbent to erect, 12--25 cm, glandular-hairy. Leaf: +- basal, < 15 cm, 1--5 cm wide, cauline reduced or not, glandular-hairy; petioles 2--6 cm, bases not membranous, +- sheathing; leaflets 9--25, 10--25 mm, 5--15 mm wide, elliptic to lanceolate, entire, terminal +- fused with adjacent pair. Inflorescence: open cyme, generally same level as highest leaves, 5--25-flowered; pedicel 1--7 mm. Flower: calyx 6--8 mm, lobes > tube, acute; corolla bell-shaped, limb 7--15 mm diam, throat 2--3 mm, lobes 3--4 mm, light to dark blue or purple; stamens 5 mm, included; pistil 4--7 mm, style exserted or not. Fruit: 2--4 mm, 2--3 mm wide. Seed: 6--10, brown. Chromosomes: 2n=36.
Ecology: Dry, open to shaded areas in montane forest; Elevation: 1600--3100 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, CaRH, n&c SNH; Distribution Outside California: to Washington. Flowering Time: Jun--Aug Note: Self-incompatible. Intergrades with Polemonium pulcherrimum at high elevations in SNH.
eFlora Treatment Author: Rebecca L. Stubbs, Ruth E. Timme & Dieter H. Wilken
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botanical illustration including Polemonium californicum


Citation for this treatment: Rebecca L. Stubbs, Ruth E. Timme & Dieter H. Wilken 2016. Polemonium californicum, Revision 2, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 25, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 25, 2016.

Polemonium californicum
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© 1987 Gary A. Monroe
Polemonium californicum
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Polemonium californicum
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© 2010 Keir Morse
Polemonium californicum
click for enlargement
© 2010 Keir Morse
Polemonium californicum
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© 2005 Steve Matson
Polemonium californicum
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© 2010 Keir Morse

More photos of Polemonium californicum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Polemonium californicum:
KR, 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).

View elevation by latitude chart
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.