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.



Lawrence R. Heckard, Family Coordinator

Annual to shrubs, generally glandular, some green root-parasites
Stem generally round
Leaves generally alternate, simple, generally ± entire; stipules generally 0
Inflorescence: spike to panicle, generally bracted, or flowers 1–2 in axils
Flower bisexual; calyx lobes generally 5; corolla generally strongly bilateral, generally 2-lipped (upper lip generally 2-lobed, lower lip generally 3-lobed); stamens generally 4 in 2 pairs, generally included, a 5th (generally uppermost) sometimes present as a staminode; pistil 1, ovary superior, chambers generally 2, placentas axile, style 1, stigma lobes generally 2
Fruit: capsule, generally ± ovoid, loculicidal or septicidal
Seed: coat sculpture often characteristic
Genera in family: ± 200 genera, 3000 species: ± worldwide; some cultivated as ornamental (e.g., Antirrhinum, Mimulus, Penstemon ) or medicinal (Digitalis )
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated to include only Buddleja, Scrophularia, and Verbascum in CA; other genera moved to Orobanchaceae (Castilleja, Cordylanthus, Orthocarpus, Pedicularis, Triphysaria), Phrymaceae (Mimulus), and Plantaginaceae (= Veronicaceae sensu Olmstead et al.)
Key to genera by Elizabeth Chase Neese & Margriet Wetherwax.



Margriet Wetherwax

Annual to perennial herb, generally glabrous
Stem ascending to erect, simple or branched at base
Leaves generally opposite or whorled (or upper alternate), sessile, simple, linear to ovate, generally wider on non-flower shoots, entire to dentate, pinnately veined
Inflorescence: spike or raceme, terminal; bracts reduced, alternate
Flower: calyx lobes 5, deep, ± equal; corolla 5-lobed, 2-lipped, lower side of tube spurred at base, lower side of throat swollen, ± hairy, ± closing corolla below lips; stamens 4, in 2 pairs, included; stigma small, head-like or lobes 2, flat
Fruit ± spheric, opening by slits into chambers near tip
Seeds many, flat and winged or pyramid-like and ± ridged
Species in genus: ± 100 species: especially Eurasia; many cultivated
Etymology: (Latin: flax, from flax-like leaves of some)
Corolla length includes spur.


L. canadensis (L.) Chaz.


Annual or biennial, generally glabrous, ± glaucous
Stem 10–60 cm, slender, with decumbent non-flower shoots
Leaf 5–25 mm, narrowly linear, obtuse
Inflorescence: raceme, dense in flower, open in fruit, ± glandular-puberulent; pedicels 1.5–6 mm, > bracts
Flower: calyx ± 3 mm, lobes linear-lanceolate, acute; corolla 10–24 mm, violet to blue, lips spreading, lower lip >> upper, throat swelling ± obscure, white-ridged, spur curved, slender
Fruit ± 3 mm
Seed 0.5 mm, ± pyramid-like, ± tubercled
Chromosomes: 2n=12
Ecology: Sand or gravel
Elevation: < 1800 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, North Coast Ranges, Sierra Nevada Foothills, Great Central Valley, Central Western California, Western Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges
Distribution outside California: to se US, adj Canada, S.America
Plants with larger flowers, seeds densely tubercled have been called var. texana (Scheele) Pennell
Horticultural information: SUN, DRN, IRR: 1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

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