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Toxicoscordion exaltatum

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 exaltatum (Eastw.) A. Heller
Habit: Bulb 20--60 mm, 20--50 mm diam, ovoid; outer coat dark brown. Stem: 30--100 cm, glabrous. Leaf: 20--60 cm, 5--30 mm wide, scabrous-ciliate. Inflorescence: panicle, 20--40 cm, open; bracts 3--25 mm, green to white-membranous; pedicels in fruit spreading, 10--40 mm. Flower: bisexual except on lower branches staminate or with stunted ovary, 3 long styles; perianth parts 5--12 mm, ovate to elliptic, obtuse, outer +- not clawed, inner clawed 1--2 mm, gland distal margin evident, dentate; stamens 2/3--3/4 perianth; styles erect to +- spreading. Fruit: 10--25 mm, oblong. Chromosomes: n=11.
Ecology: Meadows, wooded slopes; Elevation: 600--1500 m. Bioregional Distribution: SNF. Flowering Time: Apr--Jun
Synonyms: Zigadenus exaltatus Eastw.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal & Wendy B. Zomlefer
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Citation for this treatment: Dale W. McNeal & Wendy B. Zomlefer 2016. Toxicoscordion exaltatum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 24, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 24, 2016.

Toxicoscordion exaltatum
click for enlargement
© 2010 Barry Breckling
Toxicoscordion exaltatum
click for enlargement
© 2010 Barry Breckling
Toxicoscordion exaltatum
click for enlargement
© 2010 Barry Breckling

More photos of Toxicoscordion exaltatum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Toxicoscordion exaltatum:
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.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.