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Toxicoscordion brevibracteatum

Higher Taxonomy
Family: MelanthiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, from rhizome or bulb, or rhizomes ending in weakly developed bulbs, scapose or not. Leaf: alternate, whorled, or mostly basal and spirally arranged, deciduous after 1 year or not. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, or flowers 1. Flower: perianth parts 6, in 2 petal-like whorls or of sepals and petals, free or fused below, +- spreading; stamens 6, from perianth, anthers attached at base or near middle; ovary superior or partly inferior, chambers 3, styles 3, persistent. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal or septicidal.
Genera In Family: 10 genera, 130 species: northern hemisphere. Note: W North America Zigadenus moved to Toxicoscordion.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Dale W. McNeal, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: ToxicoscordionView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: DEATH CAMAS
Stem: +- scapose. Leaf: +- basal, reduced upward, linear, generally folded, +- curved, entire, deciduous after 1 year. Inflorescence: raceme or panicle; flower bracts 1 (or reportedly 2). Flower: staminate, sterile, or generally bisexual; perianth parts 6, petal-like, free or +- fused to ovary base, white to +- yellow [or not], adaxially with [0]1[2] glands near base; stamens 6, free to +- attached to perianth; ovary superior, chambers 3, styles 3. Fruit: capsule, septicidal. Seed: many.
Species In Genus: +- 8 species: central United States, western North America. Etymology: (Greek: poison garlic, for poisonous bulb) Toxicity: All taxa highly TOXIC (generally unpalatable) to livestock, humans from alkaloids (especially in bulbs). Note: As treated in TJM (1993), Zigadenus polyphyletic, so California members transferred to Toxicoscordion (Zomlefer & Judd 2002 Novon 12:299--308).
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal & Wendy B. Zomlefer

Toxicoscordion brevibracteatum (M.E. Jones) R.R. Gates
Habit: Bulb 10--40 mm diam, ovoid; outer coat dark brown to black. Stem: 30--60 cm, glabrous. Leaf: 10--30 cm, 3--10 mm wide, scabrous-ciliate. Inflorescence: generally panicle, 10--35 cm, open; bracts 2--8 mm, green; pedicels in fruit generally spreading, 10--40 mm. Flower: on branches generally bisexual or staminate; perianth parts 5--8 mm, ovate to elliptic, +- obtuse, outer +- not clawed, inner clawed, gland distal margins evident; stamens +- 2/3 perianth; styles spreading or recurved. Fruit: 8--20 mm, oblong. Chromosomes: n=11.
Ecology: Sandy desert; Elevation: 600--1800 m. Bioregional Distribution: Teh, WTR, DMoj. Flowering Time: Apr--May
Synonyms: Zigadenus brevibracteatus (M.E. Jones) H.M. Hall
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal & Wendy B. Zomlefer
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botanical illustration including Toxicoscordion brevibracteatum


Citation for this treatment: Dale W. McNeal & Wendy B. Zomlefer 2016. Toxicoscordion brevibracteatum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 10, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 10, 2016.

Toxicoscordion brevibracteatum
click for enlargement
© 2006 James M. Andre
Toxicoscordion brevibracteatum
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© 2013 Neal Kramer
Toxicoscordion brevibracteatum
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© 2003 Michael Charters
Toxicoscordion brevibracteatum
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer
Toxicoscordion brevibracteatum
click for enlargement
© 2013 Neal Kramer
Toxicoscordion brevibracteatum
click for enlargement
© 2005 James M. Andre

More photos of Toxicoscordion brevibracteatum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Toxicoscordion brevibracteatum:
Teh, WTR, DMoj.
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.