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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 2017. Sphenosciadium capitellatum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 22, 2017.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2017. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 22, 2017.

Sphenosciadium capitellatum
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© 2010 Keir Morse
Sphenosciadium capitellatum
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© 2010 Barry Breckling
Sphenosciadium capitellatum
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© 2015 Keir Morse
Sphenosciadium capitellatum
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© 2017 Neal Kramer
Sphenosciadium capitellatum
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© 2009 Thomas Stoughton
Sphenosciadium capitellatum
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© 2009 Keir Morse

More photos of Sphenosciadium capitellatum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Sphenosciadium capitellatum:
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).

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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.