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Torilis arvensis

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, Orogenia moved to Lomatium, Sphenosciadium moved to Angelica. 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: TorilisView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, taprooted, hairy or bristly. Stem: spreading or erect, branched. Leaf: blade lanceolate to triangular, 1-pinnately dissected. Inflorescence: umbels compound, terminal or opposite leaves, peduncled or sessile; bracts generally 0 or small; bractlets several, thread-like to linear; rays 0--few, spreading-ascending; pedicels 0 or short. Flower: generally +- bilateral; calyx lobes 0 or evident; petals obcordate, white or +- red, tips narrowed, outer petals +- > others; styles short. Fruit: oblong to ovate, +- compressed side-to-side; 1° ribs thread-like, prickly, 2° ribs densely prickly or tubercled; oil tubes 1 per rib interval; fruit axis divided in distal 1/2. Seed: face grooved.
Species In Genus: 10--15 species: Eurasia. Etymology: (Name used by Adanson in 1763, meaning obscure)
eFlora Treatment Author: Lincoln Constance & Margriet Wetherwax

Torilis arvensis (Huds.) Link
Habit: Plant 3--10 dm, slender. Leaf: petiole 2--8 cm; blade 5--12 cm, +- ovate, 2--3-pinnate, leaflets 5--60 mm, lanceolate to ovate, regularly pinnately cut; distal cauline leaves generally 1-pinnate. Inflorescence: peduncle 2--12 cm; bracts 0--2; bractlets several, 2--4 mm, linear; rays 2--10, +- equal; pedicels 1--4 mm. Fruit: 3--5 mm, oblong-ovate; prickles spreading, length generally = fruit width. Chromosomes: 2n=12.
Ecology: Disturbed places; Elevation: < 1600 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA-FP (esp NW, n SNF, CW); Distribution Outside California: widely introduced, native to central and southern Europe. Flowering Time: Apr--Jul
Synonyms: Torilis arvensis (Huds.) Link subsp. purpurea (Ten.) Hayek;
Jepson eFlora Author: Lincoln Constance & Margriet Wetherwax
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botanical illustration including Torilis arvensis


Citation for this treatment: Lincoln Constance & Margriet Wetherwax 2012, Torilis arvensis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 18, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 18, 2018.

Torilis arvensis
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© 2005 Steve Matson
Torilis arvensis
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© 2004 George W. Hartwell
Torilis arvensis
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© 2001 Julie Kierstead Nelson
Torilis arvensis
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Torilis arvensis
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Torilis arvensis
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© 2016 Neal Kramer

More photos of Torilis arvensis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Torilis arvensis:
CA-FP (esp NW, n SNF, CW);
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.
View all CCH records

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.