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Lawrence R. Heckard, Family Coordinator

Annual to shrubs, generally glandular, some green root-parasites
Stem generally round
Leaves generally alternate, simple, generally ± entire; stipules generally 0
Inflorescence: spike to panicle, generally bracted, or flowers 1–2 in axils
Flower bisexual; calyx lobes generally 5; corolla generally strongly bilateral, generally 2-lipped (upper lip generally 2-lobed, lower lip generally 3-lobed); stamens generally 4 in 2 pairs, generally included, a 5th (generally uppermost) sometimes present as a staminode; pistil 1, ovary superior, chambers generally 2, placentas axile, style 1, stigma lobes generally 2
Fruit: capsule, generally ± ovoid, loculicidal or septicidal
Seed: coat sculpture often characteristic
Genera in family: ± 200 genera, 3000 species: ± worldwide; some cultivated as ornamental (e.g., Antirrhinum, Mimulus, Penstemon ) or medicinal (Digitalis )
Recent taxonomic note: Recently treated to include only Buddleja, Scrophularia, and Verbascum in CA; other genera moved to Orobanchaceae (Castilleja, Cordylanthus, Orthocarpus, Pedicularis, Triphysaria), Phrymaceae (Mimulus), and Plantaginaceae (= Veronicaceae sensu Olmstead et al.)
Key to genera by Elizabeth Chase Neese & Margriet Wetherwax.



Margriet Wetherwax

Perennial, rhizomed
Stem: aerial part scapose
Leaves basal, petioled; blade ovate to round, cordate, serrate to shallowly pinnately lobed
Inflorescence: raceme; bracts < leaves, sessile, alternate
Flower: sepals 4, free; corolla bell-shaped to rotate, blue to lavender, lobes 4; stamens 2, exserted; stigmas fused, minutely head-like
Fruit loculicidal, plump, entire to notched
Seeds 2–many per chamber, flat or with incurved margins
Chromosomes: 2n=24
Species in genus: 14 species: w N Am
Etymology: (Greek: closing door, from fruit valves adhering to placenta)


S. reniformis (Douglas) Benth.


Leaf: blade ovate to reniform, cordate, upper surface soft-shaggy-hairy
Inflorescence ± soft- to rough-shaggy-hairy; flowers generally few; peduncle < 15 cm, curved to reclining in fruit; pedicel in fruit 7–10 mm, > 2 X bracts; bracts ovate
Flower: sepals ± 4.5 mm, ovate, ciliate; corolla 6–9 mm, bell-shaped, blue or lavender to white, lobes < tube; style 5–8 mm
Fruit 2–4 mm, 6–8 mm wide; lobes widely spreading, ciliate
Seeds 2 per chamber, brown; margins thick, incurved
Ecology: Grassy places
Elevation: < 1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Outer North Coast Ranges, San Francisco Bay Area
Distribution outside California: to w Washington
Plants from NCoRO (s Humboldt, Mendocino, Marin cos.) with leaf blade longer than wide have been called var. cordata A. Gray
Horticultural information: IRR, DRN: 4, 5, 6, 17 &SHD: 7, 14, 15, 16.

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bioregional map for SYNTHYRIS%20reniformis being generated

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