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Pycnanthemum californicum

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: MINT FAMILY
Habit: Annual to shrub [tree, vine], glabrous to hairy, generally aromatic. Stem: generally erect, generally 4-angled. Leaf: generally simple to deeply lobed, generally opposite, generally gland-dotted. Inflorescence: generally cymes, generally many in dense axillary clusters surrounding stem, generally separated by evident internodes or collectively crowded, spike- or panicle-like, occasionally head-like or raceme, subtended by leaves or bracts; flowers sessile or pedicelled. Flower: generally bisexual; calyx generally 5-lobed, radial to bilateral; corolla generally bilateral, 1--2-lipped, upper lip entire or 2-lobed, +- flat to hood-like, occasionally 0, lower lip generally 3-lobed; stamens generally 4, epipetalous, generally exserted, paired, pairs generally unequal, occasionally 2, staminodes 2 or 0; ovary superior, generally 4-lobed to base chambers 2, ovules 2 per chamber, style 1, generally arising from center at junction of lobes, stigmas generally 2. Fruit: generally 4 nutlets, generally ovoid to oblong, smooth.
Genera In Family: +- 230 genera, 7200 species: worldwide. Many cultivated for herbs, oils (Lavandula, lavender; Mentha, mint; Rosmarinus, rosemary; Thymus, thyme), some cultivated as ornamental (in California Cedronella, Leonotis, Monarda, Phlomis). Note: Moluccella laevis L., shell flower, historical waif in California. Satureja calamintha (L.) Scheele subsp. ascendens (Jordan) Briq. reported as alien but not naturalized. Salazaria moved to Scutellaria; California Hyptis moved to Condea, California Satureja moved to Clinopodium.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dieter H. Wilken & Margriet Wetherwax, family description, key to genera
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: PycnanthemumView Description 

Habit: Perennial herb, rhizomatous, glabrous to hairy. Stem: erect, simple or branched above middle. Leaf: petioled to +- sessile. Inflorescence: head-like, axillary at distal nodes and terminal, subtended by leaves or bracts; flowers +- sessile. Flower: calyx 5-lobed, lobes +- equal, deltate, acute to awned; corolla 2-lipped, upper lip generally 2-lobed, +- flat, lower lip 3-lobed, lobes +- equal; stamens 4. Fruit: smooth to rough; glabrous to hairy.
Species In Genus: 19 species: North America. Etymology: (Greek: densely flowered)
eFlora Treatment Author: Henrietta L. Chambers & Dieter H. Wilken

Pycnanthemum californicum Torr. ex Durand
Habit: Plant 5--13 dm. Stem: glabrous to tomentose. Leaf: > internodes, +- overlapping; blade 2.5--7.5 cm, generally ovate to widely lanceolate, entire to finely toothed, generally tomentose, base +- rounded, tip generally acute; petiole < 3 mm. Inflorescence: 2--5, head-like; proximal subtended by +- elliptic leaves, distal subtended by lance-linear bracts. Flower: calyx 4--5.5 mm, puberulent, lobes densely short-hairy; corolla 5--6.5 mm, white, upper lip 2.5--3 mm, lower lip +- 2--3 mm, purple- or violet-spotted. Chromosomes: 2n=40.
Ecology: Moist sites, chaparral, oak woodland, conifer forest; Elevation: 500--1900 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, n NCoR, CaR, SN, n ScV, TR, PR, MP. Flowering Time: Jun--Sep
eFlora Treatment Author: Henrietta L. Chambers & Dieter H. Wilken
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botanical illustration including Pycnanthemum californicum


Citation for this treatment: Henrietta L. Chambers & Dieter H. Wilken 2016. Pycnanthemum californicum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 30, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 30, 2016.

Pycnanthemum californicum
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© 2009 Barry Breckling
Pycnanthemum californicum
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© 2009 Neal Kramer
Pycnanthemum californicum
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© 2009 Neal Kramer

More photos of Pycnanthemum californicum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Pycnanthemum californicum:
KR, n NCoR, CaR, SN, n ScV, TR, PR, MP.
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.