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Vascular Plants of California
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Key to Sidalcea

View taxon page for Sidalcea

(For a list of species in Sidalcea, use the above link.)

Jepson Manual glossary definitions can be seen by moving your cursor over words underlined with dots.

1. Annual (weak  herb); generally flower in spring (occasionally later)

2. Lobes of mid-, upper-stem leaves generally  (entire), generally wider than stem bristly; fruit segments generally glabrous, occasionally ± pink when fresh; beak 0

3. Upper paired stipulesbracts divided to base into >= 2 linear  >= calyx; middle  of upper stem leaves  or with middle  >> lateral 2; inflorescence, calyx generally not glandular; inflorescence in fruit congested, axis not visible ..... S. diploscypha

3' Upper paired stipules, bracts , linear, undivided (few divided in robust plants), generally < calyx; middle lobe of upper stem leaves with middle tooth ± = lateral 2; inflorescence, calyx generally densely minutely glandular; inflorescence in fruit not congested, axis visible ..... S. keckii

2' Lobes of mid-, upper-stem leaves ± entire, generally linear; stem generally ± glabrous at least below; fruit segment glabrous or sparsely , ± pink or not when fresh; beak present

4. Outer filaments not fused to tip; fruit segment evenly net-veined on back, deeply pitted especially on top, glabrous to puberulent; calyx generally 8–10 mm ..... S. hartwegii

4' Outer filaments fused ± to tip; fruit segment longitudinally grooved or net-veined on back, generally puberulent (glabrous in Sidalcea calycosa); calyx 4–12 mm

5. Plant generally densely bristly above or stem glabrous in age; bracts linear; fruit segments ± net-veined-pitted, generally puberulent on back; calyx or flower stalk ± densely stellate-puberulent ..... S. hirsuta

5' Plant glabrous or sparsely hairy; bracts wider than linear; fruit segments longitudinally grooved, glabrous on back; calyx or flower stalk sparsely to densely silky-bristly ..... S. calycosa

6. Plant annual, taprooted; bracts 2–6 mm, not silky-hairy, not obscuring calyx; calyx 4–7 mm; petals (9)10–20 mm; NCoRO, CaRF, SNF, n SnFrB ..... subsp. calycosa

6' Plant weak perennial herb, rhizomed; bracts 8–12 mm, silky-hairy, ± obscuring calyx; calyx 6–12 mm; petals 20–25 mm; c&s NCo, n CCo ..... subsp. rhizomata

1' Perennial herb; generally flower in late spring, summer

7. Fruit segment beak 0; bractlets (0)1–3; leaves generally all along stem early to late in season, lobed (unlobed)

8. Bractlets generally 0(1–2); petals generally white; leaves generally evenly shallowly lobed; plants often > 8 dm ..... S. malachroides

8' Bractlets 3; petals pale pink to rose-purple; leaves lobed or not; plants generally < 8 dm

9. Inflorescence ± ; bracts subtending lower flowers involucre-like; stipules widest at base, much wider than stem;  blades , unlobed; n SNF (Nevada Co.) ..... S. stipularis

9' Inflorescence  or ; bracts subtending lower flowers generally stipule-like; stipules widest above base, occasionally wider than stem; leaf blades ± round or fan-like, lobed or not; NCoR, n CCo, SCoRO, WTR ..... S. hickmanii

10. Lower leaves generally lobed ± to base

11. Bracts (8)10–12 mm, ± = calyx; SCoRO (c San Luis Obispo Co.) ..... subsp. anomala

11' Bracts 5.5–7 mm, < calyx; NCoRI (Napa Co.) ..... subsp. napensis

10' Lower leaves unlobed, or deeply  to lobed < 1/4 to base

12. Bracts , generally 6–10 mm, 2.5–4 mm wide, ± < calyx; bractlets ± <= calyx; upper leaves unlobed or lobed < 1/4 to base; SCoRO, WTR (Santa Barbara Co.), SnBr ..... subsp. parishii

12' Bracts linear, lance-linear, or , 2–7 mm, 0.5–2 mm wide, < calyx; bractlets < calyx; upper leaves unlobed

13. Plant generally 4–8 dm, ± gray-canescent; calyx densely stellate-puberulent, marginal hairs longest; bractlets 2–7 mm; largest leaves deeply , closely crenate, often > 30 mm wide; inflorescence ± dense – SCoRO ..... subsp. hickmanii

13' Plant generally < 4 dm, ± green, less hairy; calyx moderate- to densely stellate-puberulent, hairs ± equal in length; bractlets 2–5 mm; largest leaves  to widely wedge-shaped, coarsely crenate, generally < 25 mm wide, wider in robust plants; inflorescence generally ± open

14. Bracts of upper flowers 1, cupped; leaf blades 0.6–1.2 cm, 0.7–2.1 cm wide; upper stem hairs , generally 0.2–0.5 mm; stem generally < 30 cm; flowers generally < 10, inflorescence not a spike; calyx 4–5.5 mm; NCoRH (n Lake Co.) ..... subsp. pillsburiensis

14' Bracts of upper flowers generally 2, flat or cupped; leaf blades 1–2.5 cm, 2–4 cm wide; upper stem hairs not appressed, generally 0.5–1.2 mm; stems generally > 30 cm; flowers generally > 10, inflorescence a ± spike in age; calyx 4–7 mm; s NCo, n CCo ..... subsp. viridis

7' Fruit segment beak 1, occasionally minute; bractlets 0; leaves only  or on lower stem at least early in season (or not), occasionally rosette-like, basal generally not lobed, leaves above generally deeply lobed (shallowly lobed or unlobed)

15. Plant generally (1)1.5–2(2.5) m; rhizomes <= (0.5)1 cm diam, bristly; stem base hollow, bristly ..... S. gigantea

15' Plant generally < or << 1(1.8) m; rhizomes 0 or generally < to << 1 cm diam; stem base solid (hollow), occasionally bristly

16. Inflorescence dense, not 1-sided; calyces densely overlapped in flower, occasionally in fruit

17. Fruit segments rough at least on outer edges and/or back, net-veined-pitted; inflorescence in fruit ± open and/or interrupted; rhizomes or rooting stems occasionally present (see also Sidalcea malviflora subspecies at 37')

18. Stem base  to ; larger petals on  flowers 1–2.5 cm, generally white-veined; fruit generally not overlapped; NCo, CCo

19. Stems often freely rooting near base; leaves at mid-stem lobed, bristles coarse; n NCo ..... S. malviflora subsp. patula

19' Stems generally not rooting near base; leaves at mid-stem unlobed, bristles fine; c&s NCo, n CCo ..... S. malviflora subsp. rostrata (3)

18' Stem  (decumbent); larger petals in bisexual flowers 0.5–1.5(2.5) cm, white-veined or not; fruit generally overlapped; NW, CaR, SNF, CCo, MP

20. Petals white-veined, 1–2.5 cm; stem generally 3–5 dm; leaves unlobed; plant ± densely finely bristly; coastal, c&s NCo, n CCo ..... S. malviflora subsp. rostrata (3)

20' Petals generally not white-veined, 0.5–1.5 cm; stem generally > 4 dm; leaves lobed or not; plant not densely finely bristly; inland, NW, CaR, SNF, MP

21. Inflorescence axis below generally visible between flower clusters; plant with ± elongate ; stems generally not clustered; s SNF ..... S. ranunculacea

21' Inflorescence axis below ± visible or not between equally spaced individual flowers; plant with short caudex; stems clustered; NW, CaR, MP

22. Calyx ± 6 mm, generally stellate-puberulent and occasionally with few bristles; inflorescence generally 10–30 cm ..... S. oregana subsp. oregana (4)

22' Calyx 5–8 mm, stellate-puberulent and with bristles; inflorescence 3–10 cm ..... S. setosa

17' Fruit segments smooth, generally not net-veined or pitted; inflorescence in fruit generally ± dense, not interrupted; rhizomes or rooting stems present or 0

23. 1°  >> fruit cluster; dense part of inflorescence generally < 5 cm; calyx, generally inflorescence stalk densely stellate-canescent

24. Lower stem < 5 mm diam, bristles ± 2 mm; inflorescence few-flowered, generally 1.5–2.5 cm; 1100–2300 m ..... S. oregana subsp. hydrophila

24' Lower stem generally > 5 mm diam, bristles generally 1–1.5 mm; inflorescence many-flowered, generally 2–5 cm; ± 150 m ..... S. oregana subsp. valida

23' 1° peduncle generally ± <= fruit cluster; dense part of inflorescence generally > 3 cm; calyx, generally inflorescence stalk stellate-puberulent

25. Calyx larger in fruit to generally 8–13 mm; calyx with bristles; n NCo, NCoRO ..... S. oregana subsp. eximia

25' Calyx ± larger in fruit to generally 3.5–7(10) mm; calyx with small  hairs, occasionally bristles; NW, CaR, n&c SNH, GB

26. Bracts generally < youngest flower ; calyx generally 5–8 mm; fruit, especially lower, widely spaced ..... S. oregana subsp. oregana (4)

26' Bracts generally > youngest flower buds; calyx (3.5)5(7) mm; fruit widely spaced or not ..... S. oregana subsp. spicata

16' Inflorescence ± open, occasionally 1-sided; calyces generally not densely overlapped except in 

27. Fruit segment generally glabrous, outer edges narrowly winged above; stem erect, glabrous above; inflorescence generally 30–40 cm ..... S. robusta

27' Fruit segment glabrous or puberulent, outer edges not winged; stem erect, decumbent, or ascending, hairy to glabrous above; inflorescence generally < to << 40 cm

28. Fruit segment smooth, not net-veined or pitted, glabrous; inflorescence generally > 15-flowered

29. Basal leaves 0 or deeply crenate or shallowly lobed; stem with > 3 leaves, generally branched, not ; inflorescence ± elongated in fruit; NW, CaR, MP ..... S. oregana subsp. oregana (4)

29' Basal leaves deeply dissected; stem with 1–3 leaves, generally unbranched, ± scapose; inflorescence much elongated in fruit; SnBr ..... S. pedata

28' Fruit segment generally finely or coarsely net-veined or pitted, glandular-puberulent or glabrous; inflorescence < 15-flowered or not

30. Roots fleshy 0, caudex 0; stems generally many; plants of alkaline flats, seeps

31. Leaves generally basal, glaucous, generally deeply 7-lobed, lobes linear; calyx stellate-puberulent; SNE (Inyo Co.) ..... S. covillei

31' Leaves basal, cauline, not glaucous, crenate to shallowly 5(7)-lobed, lobes wider than linear; calyx stellate-puberulent and with swollen-based bristles; SW, sw DMoj ..... S. neomexicana

30' Roots not fleshy; rhizome 0 or present, caudex 0 or present; stems many or not; plants generally not of alkaline flats, seeps

32. Flowers generally > 15, inflorescence generally branched; petals generally 5–15 mm; rhizome 0; stems erect ..... S. oregana subsp. oregana (4)

32' Flowers generally < 15, inflorescence generally unbranched; petals (5)10–35 mm; rhizomes present or 0; stems erect or ascending to ± 

33. Plant glaucous; rhizomes 0; inflorescence ± 1-sided

34. Stem generally decumbent-ascending; leaves mostly cauline, generally 5(7)-lobed, lobes entire to shallowly dentate; KR, CaRH, n&c SNH, ..... S. glaucescens

34' Stem generally ascending to erect; leaves mostly basal, generally 7(9)-lobed, lobes generally deeply dentate or ternate; SNH, SNE ..... S. multifida

33' Plant ± glaucous or not; rhizomes present or 0; inflorescence 1-sided or not

35. Stem long-prostrate, free-rooting, base with bristly hairs 2–3 mm, stellate hairs 0 (glabrous); leaf hairs simple; fruit segments densely bristly-stellate-puberulent on back, top, and/or beak ..... S. reptans

35' Stem generally erect to ascending, occasionally prostrate to decumbent and rooting, hairs on stem base < 3 mm, simple, stellate, or mixed; leaf hairs stellate or not; fruit segments generally not densely hairy on back, top, and/or beak

36. Leaves generally basal, much reduced above, occasionally plant ± scapose; flowers > 10; inflorescence elongate, generally to 30–40 cm in fruit; fruit generally weakly net-veined-roughened ..... S. sparsifolia

36' Leaves generally cauline (generally basal in Sidalcea asprella subsp. nana, Sidalcea elegans), ± reduced above (or not), plant not scapose; flowers < or > 10; inflorescence elongate or not, generally < 30 cm in fruit; fruit generally strongly net-veined-roughened, -pitted, or honeycombed

37. Calyx generally stellate-puberulent, generally not bristly; inflorescence occasionally 1-sided; plant occasionally ± glaucous; leaves lobed; generally inland, mtns; often serpentine

38. Rhizomes generally present, > 10 cm, generally < 4 mm diam; flowers generally < 10(20); stem occasionally prostrate at base, inflorescence ascending

39. Basal stem hairs ± 0 or simple; stem brittle; KR ..... S. elegans

39' Basal stem hairs stellate; stem not especially brittle; NW (especially NCoRH), CaR, n SNH ..... S. asprella subsp. nana

38' Rhizomes 0 or < 10 cm, generally > 4 mm diam; flowers generally > (8)10; stem, inflorescence generally erect

40. Rhizomes 0; stem generally erect, free-standing, base with bristles (or stellate hairs); leaves generally crenate to lobed, not alike in shape, lobes of upper ± entire; n NCoRI (Shasta, Tehama cos.), n ScV ..... S. celata

40' Rhizomes < 10(30) cm; stem often weak, on other pls, base with stellate hairs, without bristles; leaves ± lobed, ± alike in shape, lobes of upper generally toothed; NW, CaR, n&c SNH ..... S. asprella subsp. asprella

37' Calyx generally both stellate-puberulent and bristly, if bristles 0 some stellate hairs larger than others; inflorescence 1-sided or not; plant not glaucous; leaves lobed or not; generally coastal (to inland in SW), generally not serpentine ..... S. malviflora subspecies (in part)

41. Lobes of mid-stem leaves deep, ternate with linear segments; stem base generally ± rooting ..... subsp. laciniata

41' Lobes of mid-stem leaves 0 or not ternate with linear segments; stem base rooting or not

42. Stem base hairs generally ± 2 mm, not stellate; fruit segment weakly net-veined; rhizome generally > 10 cm, slender, free-rooting; stem leaves lobed; calyx sparsely stellate-puberulent, bristly; inflorescence generally open; SnBr ..... subsp. dolosa

42' Stem base hairs < 2 mm, stellate and not; fruit segment strongly net-veined-pitted; rhizome < 10 cm, not slender, free-rooting or not; stem leaves lobed or not; calyx generally densely stellate-puberulent or not, bristly or not; inflorescence open or dense; not SnBr

43. Basal leaf  generally < 2(2.5) cm; upper leaves generally unlobed; stem base, stipules, calyx generally ± purple; flower stalk generally hair-like; coastal, c&s NCo, n CCo ..... subsp. purpurea

43' Basal leaf blade generally > 2 cm; upper leaves lobed or unlobed; stem base, stipules, calyx generally not ± purple; flower stalk stouter than hair-like; coastal or not, including c&s NCo, n CCo, or not

44. Plant stellate-canescent; upper leaves generally deeply 7-lobed; calyx densely stellate-puberulent; flowers generally not dense; petals of bisexual flowers ± 25–35 mm; s SCoRO, WTR ..... subsp. californica

44' Plant generally densely coarsely stellate-hairy or densely finely bristly; upper leaves unlobed to deeply 7–9-lobed; calyx generally sparsely bristly; flowers occasionally dense, less so in age; petals of bisexual flowers often < 20 mm; c&s NCo, NCoRO, CCo, SnFrB, SCo, n ChI

45. Mid, upper leaves 7–9-lobed; plant not bristly; s NCo, NCoRO, CCo, SnFrB, SCo, n ChI ..... subsp. malviflora

45' Mid, upper leaves unlobed; plant finely bristly; c&s NCo (Sonoma, s Mendocino cos.), n CCo (Marin, San Mateo cos.) ..... subsp. rostrata (3)



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Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on .

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