Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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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.



Dieter H. Wilken, except as specified

Annual, perennial herb, sometimes aquatic
Leaves generally basal and cauline, generally alternate, simple or compound; petioles at base generally flat, sometimes sheathing or stipule-like
Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flowers solitary
Flower generally bisexual, radial; sepals generally 5, free, early deciduous or withering in fruit, generally green; petals 0–many, free; stamens generally 10–many; pistils 1–many, ovary superior, chamber 1, style 1, generally ± persistent in fruit as beak, ovules 1–many
Fruit: achene, follicle, berry, or utricle-like, 1–many-seeded
Genera in family: ± 60 genera, 1700 species: worldwide, especially n temp, tropical mtns; many ornamental (Adonis, Aquilegia, Clematis, Consolida, Delphinium, Erianthis, Helleborus ), some highly TOXIC (Aconitum, Actaea, Delphinium, Ranunculus )
Reference: [Duncan & Keener 1991 Phytologia 70:24–27]



Perennial from rhizome or tuber; roots fibrous or fleshy
Stems 1–few, generally erect, generally simple
Leaf generally palmately lobed; deep lobes 3–7, toothed to lobed; cauline gradually reduced upward
Inflorescence: generally raceme, terminal, bracted; pedicels spreading to upcurved
Flower bilateral; sepals 5, petal-like, upper 1 > others, hooded, generally enclosing upper 2 petals and stamens, tip generally rounded to beaked; petals 2–5, upper 2 clawed, blades generally inflated, tip spurred, lower 3 << sepals, scale-like, or 0; pistils generally 3
Fruit: follicles
Seed angled or winged, dark brown to black
Species in genus: ± 100 species: temp North America, Eurasia
Etymology: (Greek: ancient name)
Reference: [Brink 1980 Amer J Bot 67:263–273]
Most species highly TOXIC, causing death in livestock, humans.

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