Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon
Spermolepis echinata

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to perennial herb [shrub, tree], generally from taproot. Stem: generally +- scapose, generally ribbed, hollow. Leaf: basal and generally cauline, generally alternate; stipules generally 0; petiole base generally sheathing stem; blade generally much dissected, occasionally compound. Inflorescence: umbel or head, simple or compound, generally peduncled; bracts present in involucres or 0; bractlets generally present in "involucels". Flower: many, small, generally bisexual (or some staminate), generally radial (or outer bilateral); calyx 0 or lobes 5, small; petals 5, free, generally ovate or spoon-shaped, generally incurved at tips, generally +- ephemeral; stamens 5; pistil 1, ovary inferior, 2-chambered, generally with a +- conic, persistent projection or platform at tip subtending 2 free styles. Fruit: 2 dry, 1-seeded halves (= mericarps), separating from each other but generally +- persistent to central axis; ribs on halves 5, 2 marginal, 3 to back; oil tubes 1--several per interval between ribs.
Genera In Family: 300 genera, 3000 species: +- worldwide, especially temperate; many cultivated for food or spice (e.g., Carum, caraway; Daucus; Petroselinum); Bupleurum lancifolium Hornem. is historical garden weed; some toxic (e.g., Conium). Note: Mature fruit generally critical in identification, shape given in outline. Hydrocotyle moved to Araliaceae. Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) A.W. Hill is a waif.
eFlora Treatment Author: Lincoln Constance & Margriet Wetherwax, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: SpermolepisView Description 

Habit: Annual, taprooted, glabrous. Stem: generally spreading, branched. Leaf: blade [oblong] ovate, +- ternate-pinnately dissected, segments thread-like to linear. Inflorescence: umbels compound, terminal and lateral, peduncled or not; bracts 0; bractlets few, narrow; rays, pedicels 0--few, +- erect, generally +- spreading. Flower: calyx lobes 0; petals oblong to ovate, white, tips not narrowed, not incurved. Fruit: widely ovate, +- compressed side-to-side; ribs low, thread-like; oil tubes 1--3 per rib-interval; fruit axis divided at tip. Seed: face grooved.
Species In Genus: 5 species: southern United States, Hawaii, southern South America. Etymology: (Greek: seed scale, from tubercled or bristly fruit)

Spermolepis echinata (DC.) A. Heller
Habit: Plant low, spreading, 5--40 cm. Leaf: ovate; petiole 3--20 mm; blade 7--25 mm wide, segments 2--18 mm, thread-like. Inflorescence: peduncles 1--5 cm; bractlets few, thread-like to linear, entire or toothed; rays 5--14, 1--15 mm, generally +- ascending, unequal; pedicels generally < 7 mm, those of central flower of 2° umbels generally 0. Fruit: 1.5--2 mm wide; ribs prominent, short-bristly. Chromosomes: 2n=16,20.
Ecology: Rocky slopes, sandy flats; Elevation: 60--1500 m. Bioregional Distribution: DSon (Borrego Valley); Distribution Outside California: to southeastern United States, northern Mexico. Flowering Time: Mar--Apr
eFlora Treatment Author: Lincoln Constance & Margriet Wetherwax
Jepson Online Interchange
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

Previous taxon: Spermolepis
Next taxon: Sphenosciadium

Name Search
botanical illustration including Spermolepis echinata


Citation for this treatment: Lincoln Constance & Margriet Wetherwax 2016. Spermolepis echinata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 02, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 02, 2016.

Spermolepis echinata
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson
Spermolepis echinata
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson
Spermolepis echinata
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson
Spermolepis echinata
click for enlargement
© 2011 Steve Matson

More photos of Spermolepis echinata in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Spermolepis echinata:
DSon (Borrego Valley);
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).

View elevation by latitude chart
Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.