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.



Lincoln Constance

Annual, biennial, perennial herb (rarely shrub, tree), often from taproot
Stem often ± scapose, generally ribbed, hollow
Leaves basal and generally some cauline, generally alternate; stipules generally 0; petiole base generally sheathing stem; blade generally much dissected, sometimes compound
Inflorescence: umbel or head, simple or compound, generally peduncled; bracts present (in involucres) or not; bractlets generally present (in involucels)
Flowers many, small, generally bisexual (or some staminate), generally radial (or outer bilateral); calyx 0 or lobes 5, small, atop ovary; petals 5, free, generally ovate or spoon-shaped, generally incurved at tips, generally ± ephemeral; stamens 5; pistil 1, ovary inferior, 2-chambered, generally with a ± conic, persistent projection or platform on top subtending 2 free styles
Fruit: 2 dry, 1-seeded halves that separate from each other but generally remain attached for some time to a central axis; ribs on each half 5, 2 marginal and 3 on back; oil tubes 1–several per interval between ribs
Genera in family: 300 genera, 3,000 species: ± worldwide, especially temp; many cultivated for food or spice (e.g., Carum, caraway; Daucus; Petroselinum); some highly toxic (e.g., Conium). Underground structures here called roots, but true nature remains problematic. Mature fruit generally critical in identification; shapes generally given in outline, followed by shape in X -section of 2 fruit halves together.


Annual, taprooted, hairy or bristly
Stem spreading or erect, branched
Leaf: blade lanceolate to triangular, 1-pinnately dissected, segments narrow
Inflorescence: umbels compound, terminal or opposite a leaf, peduncled or sessile; bracts generally 0 or small; bractlets several, thread-like to linear; rays 0–few, spreading-ascending; pedicels 0 or short
Flower generally slightly bilateral; calyx lobes 0 or evident; petals obcordate, white or reddish, tips narrowed, outer petals ± > others; styles short
Fruit oblong to ovate, slightly compressed side-to-side; 1° ribs thread-like, prickly, 2° ribs densely prickly or tubercled; oil tubes per interval between 1° ribs 1; fruit axis divided in upper 1/2
Seed: face grooved
Species in genus: 10–15 species: Eurasia
Etymology: (Name used by Adanson in 1763, meaning obscure)


T. arvensis (Huds.) Link

Plant 3–10 dm, slender
Leaf: petiole 2–8 cm; blade 5–12 cm, ± ovate, 2–3-pinnate, leaflets 5–60 mm, lanceolate to ovate, regularly pinnately cut; upper cauline leaves generally 1-pinnate
Inflorescence: peduncle 2–12 cm; bracts 0–2; bractlets several, 2–4 mm, linear; rays 2–10, ± equal; pedicels 1–4 mm
Fruit 3–5 mm, oblong-ovate; prickles spreading, generally = fruit in width
Chromosomes: 2n=12
Ecology: Disturbed places
Elevation: 40–1600 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province (especially Northwestern California, Central Western California, n Sierra Nevada Foothills)
Distribution outside California: native to c&s Europe
Rapidly spreading; waifs in CA seem to be subsp. purpurea (Ten.) Hayek, including plants sometimes referred to T. japonica (Houtt.) DC.

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