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©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 thick, simple to branched caudex
Stems 1–few, ascending to erect, branched to not, scapose to not, glabrous to glandular-hairy
Leaves: basal 1–3-ternate, petiole generally long; cauline 0–few, generally much reduced, deeply 3-lobed to 1–2-ternate, petiole short to ± 0; segments generally wedge-shaped to obovate, upper surface green to pale green, lower surface pale green to glaucous
Inflorescence: few-flowered raceme or flower solitary, terminal; axis and pedicels glabrous to glandular; flowers often pendent
Flower radial; sepals 5, petal-like, spreading to slightly reflexed; petals 5, generally with spur projecting between sepals; pistils generally 5
Fruit: follicles, glabrous to glandular
Seeds smooth, shiny, brown to black
Species in genus: ± 70 species: temp North America, Eurasia
Etymology: (Derivation uncertain, perhaps Latin: eagle, from spurs, or water-drawer, from habitats)
Reference: [Munz 1946 Gentes Herb 7:1–150]
Many species and hybrids cultivated as ornamental; natural hybrids common.


A. eximia Planch.

Plant 20–160 cm
Leaves: basal and lower cauline 2–3-ternate, petioles 4–30 cm, segments 8–35(50) mm; upper cauline generally simple to deeply 3-lobed
Inflorescence: flower nodding, in fruit erect
Flower: sepals 10–28 mm, red; petal blade 0, spur 12–35 mm, ± outcurved, tube red, tip 2–4 mm wide, mouth 6–10 mm wide, elliptic to triangular, > 90° to flower axis, red to yellowish; stamens 10–25 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=14
Ecology: Seeps, moist ravines, often serpentine soils, mixed-evergreen or coniferous forest
Elevation: 100–1800 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast Ranges, San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast Ranges, w Western Transverse Ranges
Horticultural information: IRR: 4, 5, 6 &SHD: 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

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