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.



Dale W. McNeal, except as specified

Perennial to trees, from membranous bulb, fibrous corm, scaly rhizome, or erect caudex
Stem generally underground
Leaves generally basal, often withering early, alternate, generally ± linear
Inflorescence various, generally bracted
Flower generally bisexual, generally radial; perianth often showy, segments generally 6 in two petal-like whorls (outer sometimes sepal-like), free or fused at base; stamens 6 (or 3 + generally 3 ± petal-like staminodes), filaments sometimes attached to perianth or fused into a tube or crown; ovary superior or inferior, chambers 3, placentas generally axile, style generally 1, stigmas generally 3
Fruit: generally capsule, loculicidal or septicidal (berry or nut)
Genera in family: ± 300 genera, 4600 species: especially ± dry temp and subtropical; many cultivated for ornamental or food; some TOXIC. Here includes genera sometimes treated in Agavaceae, Amaryllidaceae, and other families.



Perennial, coarse, leafy; rhizome thick
Stem erect, 1–2 m, simple, hollow
Leaves many, alternate, lanceolate to widely ovate, generally acute, clasping, coarsely veined, reduced upward
Inflorescence: panicle; flowers many
Flower bisexual or staminate; perianth parts 6, petal-like, free, widely spreading, white or greenish to red-brown, nectary glands 1–2 near base; stamens 6, attached to perianth; ovary slightly inferior, chambers 3, styles 3, short, stigmas long
Fruit: capsule, septicidal
Species in genus: ± 25 species: n temp
Etymology: (Latin: dark roots)
Alkaloids used medicinally and TOXIC to both livestock and humans.


V. californicum Durand var. californicum

Leaves ovate; lower 20–40 cm, tomentose-ciliate, lower surface curly-hairy, upper surface glabrous or veins sparsely short-hairy
Inflorescence erect, generally 30–60 cm, tomentose; branches ascending or spreading; pedicels 1–6 mm
Flower 10–15 mm; perianth parts elliptic to obovate, white or greenish, glabrous to sparsely woolly below, entire to ± dentate, glands 1–2, Y-shaped, green; stamens 1/2–2/3 perianth length; ovary glabrous
Fruit 2–3 cm, narrowly ovoid
Seed 10–12 mm, ± winged
Chromosomes: n=16
Ecology: Streambanks, moist meadows, forest edges
Elevation: ± 1000–3500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, Modoc Plateau,East of Sierra Nevada (Sweetwater Mtns)
Distribution outside California: to Washington, Montana, Colorado, Mexico
Flowering time: Jul–Aug
Horticultural information: WET: 1, 2, 6, 7.

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bioregional map for VERATRUM%20californicum%20var.%20californicum being generated

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Veratrum californicum var. californicum
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