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Toxicoscordion fremontii

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 fremontii (Torr.) Rydb.
Habit: Bulb 20--35 mm diam, +- spheric; outer coat black. Stem: 40--90 cm, glabrous. Leaf: 20--50 cm, 8--30 mm wide, curved, scabrous-ciliate. Inflorescence: panicle or raceme, 5--40 cm, open; bracts 5--50 mm, green; pedicels spreading in fruit, 10--50 mm. Flower: bisexual; perianth parts 5--15 mm, widely ovate, obtuse, outer very short-clawed, inner clawed 2--3 mm, gland distal margin evident, dentate; stamens +- 1/2 perianth; styles erect to +- spreading. Fruit: 10--35 mm, cylindric. Chromosomes: n=11.
Ecology: Grassy or wooded slopes, outcrops; Elevation: < 1000 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, c SNF (just w of Chinese Camp, Tuolumne Co.), ScV, CW, SW; Distribution Outside California: Oregon, northern Baja California. Flowering Time: Feb--Jun
Synonyms: Zigadenus fremontii (Torr.) S. Watson; Zigadenus fremontii var. inezianus Jeps.; Zigadenus fremontii var. minor (Hook. & Arn.) Jeps.; Zigadenus fremontii var. salsus Jeps.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal & Wendy B. Zomlefer
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botanical illustration including Toxicoscordion fremontii


Citation for this treatment: Dale W. McNeal & Wendy B. Zomlefer 2016. Toxicoscordion fremontii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 12, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 12, 2016.

Toxicoscordion fremontii
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© 2015 Barry Breckling
Toxicoscordion fremontii
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© 2010 Barry Breckling
Toxicoscordion fremontii
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© 2003 Michael Charters
Toxicoscordion fremontii
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© 2011 California Academy of Sciences
Toxicoscordion fremontii
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Toxicoscordion fremontii
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© 2004 California Academy of Sciences

More photos of Toxicoscordion fremontii in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Toxicoscordion fremontii:
NW, c SNF (just w of Chinese Camp, Tuolumne Co.), ScV, CW, SW;
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.