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  • 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]



Annual, perennial herb, sometimes from stolons or caudices, terrestrial or aquatic; roots generally fibrous
Stem prostrate to erect
Leaves basal and generally cauline, generally reduced upwards, generally glabrous; petiole base flat, stipule-like or not; basal and lower cauline petioles generally long; blades simple to dissected or compound, entire to toothed
Inflorescence: cyme, axillary or terminal, 1–few-flowered
Flower radial; sepals generally 5, generally early deciduous, generally glabrous, generally green to yellowish; petals generally 5, generally > sepals, generally white to yellow, shiny; nectar gland near petal base, pocket-like or with flap-like scale; anthers yellow; pistils generally many
Fruit: achene, generally compressed, beaked, generally glabrous; walls thick
Species in genus: ± 250 species: temp worldwide, tropical mtns; some ornamental
Etymology: (Latin: (Pliny) little frog, from generally wet habitats)


R. testiculatus Crantz

Annual 1–6(10) cm, scapose
Stem decumbent to erect; branches 0–few, at base
Leaves basal, tomentose; petioles < 3 cm, blades 0.5–3 cm, ovate, 2–3-dissected, segments linear, ± entire
Flower: receptacle tomentose; sepals 2–8 mm, persistent in fruit, tomentose; petals 2–5, 3–8 mm, 1–4.5 mm wide, early deciduous
Fruits many; cluster ovoid to spheric; body 1.5–2.5 mm, plump, with 2 lateral bulges, finely tomentose or glabrous; beak 3–4 mm, spine-like, ± straight
Ecology: Waste areas, overgrazed pastures, scrub
Elevation: 1400–2500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Cascade Range, s High Sierra Nevada, Great Basin Floristic Province, expected elsewhere
Distribution outside California: to Washington, Colorado; native to Eurasia
Flowering time: Apr–Jun
Synonyms: Ceratocephala t. (Crantz) Roth
TOXIC to livestock.

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