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Sphenosciadium capitellatum

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: SphenosciadiumView Description 

Species In Genus: 1 sp. Etymology: (Greek: wedge umbrella, from umbel)

Sphenosciadium capitellatum A. Gray
Habit: Perennial herb, +- scabrous; root tuberous. Stem: erect, 5--18 dm, generally branched, leafy. Leaf: petiole 1--4 dm; blade 1--4 dm, oblong to ovate, 1--2-pinnate or ternate-pinnate, leaflets 1--12 cm, generally +- lanceolate, acute, sparsely toothed to irregularly cut or pinnately lobed; cauline leaf sheaths enlarged. Inflorescence: umbels compound, tomentose; peduncle 7--40 cm; bracts 0; bractlets many, linear, bristle-like; rays 4--18, 1.5--10 cm, ascending to reflexed; pedicels reduced to a disk; 2° umbels head-like, spheric. Flower: calyx lobes 0; petals obovate, white or +- purple, tips narrowed; styles slender. Fruit: 5--8 mm, wedge-shaped-obovate, compressed front-to-back, tomentose; ribs unequally winged, marginal wider than others; oil tubes per rib-interval 1; fruit axis divided to base. Seed: face +- flat. Chromosomes: 2n=22.
Ecology: Wet meadows, streamsides, lakeshores; generally higher elevations; Elevation: < 3500 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCoRI, CaR, SNH, TR, PR, GB; Distribution Outside California: to Oregon, Idaho, Nevada, Baja California. Toxicity: TOXIC to livestock, but rarely eaten. Flowering Time: Jul--Aug
eFlora Treatment Author: Lincoln Constance & Margriet Wetherwax
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botanical illustration including Sphenosciadium capitellatum


Citation for this treatment: Lincoln Constance & Margriet Wetherwax 2016. Sphenosciadium capitellatum, 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.

Sphenosciadium capitellatum
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© 1991 Gary A. Monroe
Sphenosciadium capitellatum
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© 2010 Keir Morse
Sphenosciadium capitellatum
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© 2009 Barry Rice
Sphenosciadium capitellatum
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Sphenosciadium capitellatum
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© 2010 Barry Breckling
Sphenosciadium capitellatum
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© 2010 Keir Morse

More photos of Sphenosciadium capitellatum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Sphenosciadium capitellatum:
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.