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Lauramay T. Dempster

Subshrub, shrub, vine, or small tree
Leaves opposite, simple or compound; stipules generally 0
Flower: calyx tube fused to ovary, limb generally 5-lobed; corolla radial or bilateral, rotate to cylindric, generally 5-lobed; stamens generally 5, epipetalous, alternate corolla lobes; ovary inferior, 1–5-chambered, style l
Fruit: berry, drupe, or capsule
Genera in family: ± 12 genera, 450 species: especially n temp
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated to include Valerianaceae (and Dispaceae); Sambucus, Viburnum recently treated in Adoxaceae



Shrub, erect or twining
Leaves simple, entire, short-petioled; 1–2 pairs beneath inflorescence often fused around stem
Inflorescence: spikes, interrupted, at ends of branches, or flowers paired on axillary peduncles and subtended by 0–2 sets of bracts
Flower: calyx-limb 0 or generally 5-toothed, generally persistent; corolla 5-lobed, ± radial or strongly 2-lipped (4 upper lobes, 1 lower), tube pouched at base; ovary chambers 2–3
Fruit: berry, generally round
Species in genus: ± 200 species: temp, subtropical North America, Eur, Asia, n Africa
Etymology: (Adam Lonitzer, German herbalist, 16th century)
Reference: [Rehder 1903 Rep Missouri Bot Gard 14:27–231]
2 collections (Del Norte Co., Eldorado Co.) have purplish, apparently sterile, variously distorted flowers with long, slender ovary/hypanthium; probably alien (key 7.).


L. tatarica L.

Shrub, erect, < 3 m; herbage glabrous or soft-hairy
Leaf generally 3–6 cm; blade ovate, round or ± cordate, tip obtuse; upper pairs not fused around stem
Inflorescence: flowers in pairs, sessile; peduncles ± 15 mm, slender, axillary; bracts not forming an involucre, lower lanceolate, spreading, upper round-ovate, erect
Flower: calyx limb ± deeply lobed; corolla ± 15 mm, white, fading yellowish, glabrous, weakly 2-lipped, lobes ± = tube, subequal, obovate; stamens well exserted; ovaries of a flower pair free, stigma barely exserted
Fruit ± 1 cm, red
Ecology: Disturbed places
Elevation: 700–1100 m.
Bioregional distribution: w Cascade Range
Distribution outside California: native to Siberia
Berries possibly TOXIC, attractive to children.

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