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.



Judith A. Jernstedt

Perennial; bulb ovoid to ± elongate, outer coats white to brown, often very fibrous
Leaves basal, linear, reduced to scarious bracts in inflorescence
Inflorescence: panicle; flowers 1–several per node
Flower: perianth segments 6 in 2 petal-like whorls, free, white, purple, or pinkish, persistent in fruit and twisted together above capsule; stamens 6, attached to bases of perianth parts, anthers attached at middle; ovary superior, chambers 3, style slender, stigma slightly 3-lobed
Fruit: capsule, stalked, loculicidal
Seeds ovoid, black, 1–2 per chamber
Species in genus: 5 species: w North America, especially CA
Etymology: (Greek: green milk or juice)
Reference: [Hoover 1940 Madroño 5:137–147]


C. purpureum Brandegee

Bulb 2.5–3 cm; scales white to brown, membranous
Leaves basal, 2–5 mm wide, linear, wavy
Inflorescence 10–40 cm; branches few; pedicels 4–10 mm, slender, generally > flowers
Flower open during day; perianth deep blue to purple, segments 5–7 mm, recurved; stamens ± = perianth, anthers 1 mm, yellow; style exserted, 5–6 mm
Fruit 3 mm
Ecology: Open woodland, sometimes on serpentine
Elevation: ± 300 or ± 600 m.
Bioregional distribution: e Outer South Coast Ranges.Varieties intergrade but apparently retain distinctions in a common garden, produce fertile seeds when artificially crossed.


var. purpureum


Inflorescence 25–40 cm
Chromosomes: n=30
Ecology: Woodland
Elevation: ± 300 m.
Bioregional distribution: ne Outer South Coast Ranges (eastern side Santa Lucia Mtns, Monterey Co.). Threatened by trampling, grazing, vehicles
Horticultural information: In cultivation.
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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bioregional map for CHLOROGALUM%20purpureum%20var.%20purpureum being generated

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Chlorogalum purpureum var. purpureum
Retrieve dichotomous key for Chlorogalum
Retrieve multiple-entry key (MEKA) for Chlorogalum
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
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