Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Orthocarpus cuspidatus subsp. cuspidatus

Higher Taxonomy
Family: OrobanchaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, shrub; often glandular; root-parasites, roots modified into absorptive structures. Stem: generally round in ×-section. Leaf: generally simple, generally alternate, reduced to +- fleshy scales in non-green plants lacking chlorophyll; stipules generally 0. Inflorescence: spike to panicle, generally bracted, or flowers 1--2 in axils. Flower: bisexual; calyx lobes 0--5; corolla generally strongly bilateral, generally 2-lipped (upper lip generally 2-lobed, lower lip generally 3-lobed), abaxial lobes outside other lobes in bud; stamens epipetalous, 4 in 2 pairs (sometimes 1 pair sterile), additional staminode 0(1), anther sacs unequal; ovary superior, chambers 1--2, placentas 2--4, parietal, style 1, stigma lobes 0 or 2. Fruit: capsule, generally +- ovoid, loculicidal, valves 2--4. Seed: many, small, angled; surface smooth or netted.
Genera In Family: 101 genera, 2060 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate and Africa. Note: High yield losses in many crops caused by Orobanche and Phelipanche species in Africa, Mediterranean, Middle East, and eastern Europe. Taxa of Orobanche in TJM2 treated here in Aphyllon and Phelipanche.
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Robert Patterson, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: OrthocarpusView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, green. Leaf: alternate, sessile, entire to 3-lobed. Inflorescence: spike; bracts generally distinct from leaves, 1 per flower, entire to 5-lobed, tips generally colored. Flower: calyx unequally 4-lobed, deepest sinus adaxial; corolla club-shaped, upper lip folded lengthwise, tip rounded, closed, opening directed downward forming a hood enclosing anthers and style, lower lip shorter, +- 3-pouched, (0)3-toothed; stamens 4, anther sacs 2, unequal; style, stigma slender. Fruit: generally +- notched. Seed: generally 8--15, often +- curved, +- keeled, attached at side; coat netted or ridged, tight-fitting.
Species In Genus: 9 species: western North America. Etymology: (Greek: straight fruit) Note: Close to Cordylanthus; other species formerly placed here are Castilleja (owl's-clovers) or Triphysaria (Johnny-tuck).
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax, T.I. Chuang & Lawrence R. Heckard
Reference: Chuang & Heckard 1992 Syst Bot 17:560--582
Species: Orthocarpus cuspidatusView Description 

Habit: Plant 10--40 cm, puberulent to scabrous, sparsely glandular, becoming +- purple-tinged. Stem: simple to much-branched, generally slender. Leaf: 10--50 mm, +- lanceolate; proximal entire, distal with 3 deep, linear lobes. Inflorescence: 2--10 cm, dense; bracts differing abruptly from distal leaves, 10--20 mm, +- ovate, +- purple-pink on distal 1/3 of distal-most bracts, with 2 narrow, +- basal lobes, central lobe 7--15 mm wide, tip abruptly pointed. Flower: calyx 7--10 mm, divided 1/2 abaxially, 2/3 adaxially, 1/4 on sides; corolla 9--25 mm, exserted or not, lips +- purple-pink, densely puberulent, beak straight, without cylindric, hooked tip, 3--8 mm, 0--4 mm > lower lip, lower lip +- pouched, teeth 1--2 mm, triangular, densely puberulent; stigma well included. Fruit: 6--8 mm. Seed: dark brown. Chromosomes: 2n=28.

Orthocarpus cuspidatus Greene subsp. cuspidatus
Stem: generally stout. Flower: corolla 16--25 mm, exserted, beak 7--8 mm, generally 1--4 mm > lower lip, pouches 4--5 mm deep; upper anther sac 1.5--2 mm.
Ecology: Open, grassy to rocky slopes; Elevation: 700--2200 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaR; Distribution Outside California: southwestern Oregon. Flowering Time: Jun--Aug Note: Intergrades with Orthocarpus cuspidatus subsp. copelandii.
Jepson eFlora Author: Margriet Wetherwax, T.I. Chuang & Lawrence R. Heckard
Reference: Chuang & Heckard 1992 Syst Bot 17:560--582
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Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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Botanical illustration including Orthocarpus cuspidatus subsp. cuspidatus

botanical illustration including Orthocarpus cuspidatus subsp. cuspidatus


Citation for this treatment: Margriet Wetherwax, T.I. Chuang & Lawrence R. Heckard 2012, Orthocarpus cuspidatus subsp. cuspidatus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 12, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 12, 2018.

No expert verified images found for Orthocarpus cuspidatus subsp. cuspidatus.

Geographic subdivisions for Orthocarpus cuspidatus subsp. cuspidatus:
NW, CaR;
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, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.