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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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Dieter H. Wilken, except as specified

Annual, perennial herb, sometimes aquatic
Leaves generally basal and cauline, generally alternate, simple or compound; petioles at base generally flat, sometimes sheathing or stipule-like
Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flowers solitary
Flower generally bisexual, radial; sepals generally 5, free, early deciduous or withering in fruit, generally green; petals 0–many, free; stamens generally 10–many; pistils 1–many, ovary superior, chamber 1, style 1, generally ± persistent in fruit as beak, ovules 1–many
Fruit: achene, follicle, berry, or utricle-like, 1–many-seeded
Genera in family: ± 60 genera, 1700 species: worldwide, especially n temp, tropical mtns; many ornamental (Adonis, Aquilegia, Clematis, Consolida, Delphinium, Erianthis, Helleborus ), some highly TOXIC (Aconitum, Actaea, Delphinium, Ranunculus )
Reference: [Duncan & Keener 1991 Phytologia 70:24–27]



Michael J. Warnock

Perennial; root generally < 10 cm, ± fibrous or fleshy; buds generally obscure
Stem generally 1, erect, generally unbranched; base generally ± as wide as root, generally firmly attached to root, generally ± reddish or purplish
Leaves simple, basal and cauline, petioled; blades generally palmately lobed, deep lobes generally 3–5, generally < 6 mm wide, generally also lobed; lower leaves generally dry, often 0 in flower; cauline merging into bracts upward
Inflorescence: raceme or somewhat branched, terminal; flowers generally 10–25; pedicels generally ± spreading
Flower bilateral; sepals 5, petal-like, generally spreading, generally ± dark blue, uppermost spurred; petals 4, << sepals, upper 2 with nectar-secreting spurs enclosed in uppermost sepal, lower 2 clawed, with blades generally 4–8 mm, notched, generally ± perpendicular to claws, generally colored like sepals, generally obviously hairy; pistils 3(–5)
Fruit aggregate of 3(–5) erect follicles, generally 2.5–4 X longer than wide
Seed dark brown to black, often appearing white, generally winged when immature, generally without inflated collar; coat cell margins generally straight
Etymology: (Latin: dolphin, from bud shape)
Reference: [Lewis & Epling 1954 Brittonia 8:1–22]
Hybrids common, especially in disturbed places. Root length here includes coarse but not thread-like parts. Most species highly TOXIC, attractive and causing many deaths to cattle, less often to horses, sheep.
Horticultural information: Exc as noted, successful In cultivation only within natural range and habitat. Lowland subsp.: DRY. Upland species: winter chilling required.


D. parryi A. Gray

Root sometimes > 10 cm
Stem 15–110 (generally < 80) cm, generally curled-puberulent, especially below
Leaves generally curled-puberulent; basal present or 0 in flower; lobes 5–27, generally < 6 mm at widest
Inflorescence: flowers 3–60; pedicels 5–68 mm, 8–50 mm apart, ± ascending, generally puberulent
Flower: sepals reflexed or not, lateral 9–25 mm, spur 8–21 mm; lower petal blades 3–10 mm
Fruit 10–19 mm
Seed winged, otherwise ± bumpy
Ecology: Chaparral, open woodlands
Elevation: 0–2600 m.
Bioregional distribution: Tehachapi Mountain Area, Central Western California, Southwestern California
Distribution outside California: n Baja California


subsp. maritimum (Davidson) M.J. Warnock

Root < 10 cm
Leaves basal and cauline in flower; lobes 5–10, often > 6 mm at widest
Flower: sepals generally spreading, lateral 9–20 mm, spur 8–21 mm; lower petal blades 4–11 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=16
Ecology: Coastal chaparral
Elevation: 0–300 m.
Bioregional distribution: Central Coast, South Coast, Channel Islands
Distribution outside California: n Baja California
Horticultural information: DRN, DRY; DFCLT.

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