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Robert W. Patterson, Family Editor

Annual, perennial herb, shrub, vine
Leaves simple or compound, cauline (or most in basal rosette), alternate or opposite; stipules 0
Inflorescence: cymes, heads, or flowers solitary
Flower: calyx generally 5-ribbed, ribs often connected by translucent membranes that are generally torn by growing fruit; corolla generally 5-lobed, radial or bilateral, salverform to bell-shaped, throat often well defined; stamens generally 5, epipetalous, attached at same or different levels, filaments of same or different lengths, pollen white, yellow, blue, or red; ovary superior, chambers generally 3, style 1, stigmas generally 3
Fruit: capsule
Seeds 1–many, gelatinous or not when wet
Genera in family: 19 genera, 320 species: Am, n Eur, n Asia; some cultivated (Cantua, Cobaea (cup-and-saucer vine), Collomia, Gilia, Ipomopsis, Linanthus, Phlox )
Recent taxonomic note: *See also revised taxonomy of Porter and Johnson 2000 Aliso 19(1):55–91; Porter 1998 Aliso 17:83–85


Robert W. Patterson

Annual, perennial herb
Stem generally erect, generally branched from base
Leaves cauline, opposite, entire or palmately 3–9-lobed; lobes linear to narrowly lanceolate or spoon-shaped
Inflorescence head-like, open, or flower solitary; bracts leaf-like; flowers sessile or pedicelled
Flower: calyx tubular, or lobes nearly free, bordered by translucent membrane; corolla funnel-shaped, salverform, or bell-shaped; stamens attached at same level, pollen yellow
Species in genus: 41 species: w North America, Chile
Etymology: (Greek: flax flower)
Reference: [Patterson 1977 Madroño 24:36–48]


L. aureus (Nutt.) Greene

Stem thread-like, glabrous or hairy, sometimes glandular
Leaf: lobes 3–6 mm, linear
Inflorescence: flower solitary; peduncle 5–15 mm, thread-like
Flower: calyx 4–6 mm, membrane wider than ribs; corolla funnel-shaped, tube 3–5 mm, ring of hairs inside and outside, lobes 5–7 mm, oblanceolate; stamens attached in throat; stigmas 3–4 mm, exserted
Ecology: Pinyon-pine/oak/juniper woodland, desert flats
Elevation: < 2000 m.
Bioregional distribution: Western Transverse Ranges (n slope), Desert
Distribution outside California: to New Mexico, Baja California
Both subspp. occur in generally same range but rarely occur together
Recent taxonomic note: *Leptosiphon aureus (Nutt.) J.M. Porter & L.A. Johnson

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