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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



Curtis Clark

Annual to small tree; sap often colored, often milky
Leaves basal, cauline, or both, generally toothed, lobed, or dissected; cauline generally alternate; stipules 0
Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, or panicle (terminal), or flower solitary
Flower bisexual, generally radial; sepals 2–4, sometimes shed ± at flower; petals generally 4 or 6 (or more), sometimes in 2 unlike pairs; stamens 4–many; ovary generally 1, superior, chamber generally 1, stigma lobes 0–many, ovules 1–many
Fruit: generally capsule, dehiscent by valves or pores, generally septicidal
Genera in family: 40 genera, 400 sp.: n temp, n tropical, s Africa; some cultivated (Papaver, Dicentra, Eschscholzia ). Petal length includes any spur or pouch. Hunnemannia fumariifolia Sweet (Eschscholzia-like garden per with free sepals) an uncommon waif in CA. Corydalis, Dicentra, Fumaria formerly treated in Fumariaceae.


Perennial, glabrous, sometimes glaucous; sap colorless
Leaves generally basal (sometimes some cauline), deeply dissected
Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, or flowers solitary
Flower biradial; sepals 2, shed just after flower; petals 4, white to yellow, sometimes persistent, outer 2 free, lanceolate, alike, both pouched at base, inner 2 adherent at tips, oblanceolate, ± crested on back; stamens 6, ± fused in 2 sets opposite outer petals; ovary cylindric to long-conic, placentas 2, style 1, stigma lobes 2
Fruit ovate or long-conic, dehiscent from tip
Seeds few, 1–2 mm, oblong to reniform, smooth, rough, or netted, black
Species in genus: 16 species: North America, Asia; some ornamental
Etymology: (Greek: twice spurred, from outer petals)


D. formosa (Haw.) Walp.


Plant 20–45 cm, sometimes glaucous, rhizomed
Leaves 2-ternately dissected, 20–50 cm
Inflorescence 4+-flowered
Flower nodding; petals 14–18 mm, rose-purple to whitish, not drying black; base of central stamen of each set aligned with lateral 2
Fruit 14–20 mm, long-conic
Ecology: Damp, shaded areas
Elevation: < 2200 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, n Central Western California
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia
Small plants from nw KR with bluish glaucous leaves and light petals have been called subsp. oregana (Eastw.) Munz, Oregon bleeding heart
Horticultural information: DRN: 4, 5 &SHD: 6 &IRR: 1, 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

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