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The Jepson Manual: Higher Plants of California

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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

Names are linked to treatments from the Manual


Key to POTENTILLA

N.B.: couplets are linked, e.g., 1. is linked to 1'.

  1. Shrub; fruit densely hairy
P. fruticosa
  1' Herb; fruit glabrous (often among receptacle hairs)
 
    2. Petals dark red, narrowly ovate, << sepals — plant openly matted from stolons, often floating; bogs, marshes
P. palustris
    2' Petals yellow to white, elliptic to obcordate, < to > sepals
 
      3. Flowers solitary from stolons; leaf pinnate, main lateral leaflets alternating with reduced leaflets
P. anserina
        4. Leaf 3–15 cm, generally densely hairy above; pedicel generally 2–7 cm; 1200–2500 m; s High Sierra Nevada, San Bernardino Mountains, Great Basin Floristic Province
subsp. anserina
        4' Leaf 3–75 cm, ± glabrous above; pedicel generally 5–30 cm; generally < 150 m; North Coast, Central Coast, South Coast
subsp. pacifica
      3' Flowers in cymes (stolons 0); leaf pinnate, palmate, or ternate; reduced leaflets 0
 
        5. Styles attached below middle of fruit, widest near middle — leaf pinnate, terminal leaflet > others
P. glandulosa
          6. Styles 1.5–2.5 mm, ± slender; flowers generally not opening fully; sheathing leaf base generally strigose
 
            7. Stem generally 5–20 cm; hairs sparse, some glandular; terminal leaflet generally 5–15 mm, < 10-toothed; San Gabriel Mountains
subsp. ewanii
            7' Stem 20–50 cm; hairs generally ± dense, ± nonglandular; terminal leaflet generally 15–30 mm, > 10-toothed; n California
subsp. globosa
          6' Styles generally < 1.5 mm, generally swollen; flower opening fully; sheathing leaf base often glabrous
 
            8. Petals ± elliptic-(ob)ovate; sepals ± = or > petal, generally ± obtuse; stem and pedicel hairs generally glandular; leaflet generally double-toothed; generally < 2600 m
 
              9. Petals ± elliptic-ovate, 3.5–6 mm wide, cream to pale yellow; inflorescence appearing ± leafy (bracts ± 1/2 subtended branches); generally < 1200 m
subsp. glandulosa
              9' Petals narrowly elliptic-obovate, 2–3.5 mm wide, yellow; inflorescence not appearing very leafy (bracts < 1/2 subtended branches); generally 500–2600 m
subsp. reflexa
            8' Petals ± obovate to round; sepals < petals, generally ± acute; stem and pedicel hairs glandular or not; leaflet generally single-toothed; > 900 m
 
              10. Stem generally 5–20 cm; leaflet teeth < 10; sheathing leaf base generally appressed-hairy — generally glandular above; rocky areas, 2400–3800 m
subsp. pseudorupestris
              10' Stem generally > 20 cm; leaflet teeth > 10; sheathing leaf base generally glabrous
 
                11. Petals ± yellow; inflorescence branches spreading (angle generally 20–40°), sometimes glandular above; Northwestern California, Cascade Range, n High Sierra Nevada, Modoc Plateau
subsp. ashlandica
                11' Petals cream; inflorescence branches ascending (angle generally 10–30°), nonglandular above; Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, Transverse Ranges, San Jacinto Mountains, East of Sierra Nevada
 
                  12. Stem-base hairs < 1 mm, glandless; stem generally 20–60 cm; leaflet teeth generally single; 1800–3700 m
subsp. nevadensis
                  12' Stem-base hairs generally 2–3 mm, glandular; stem 40–90 cm; leaflet teeth generally double; 1200–2200 m
subsp. hansenii
        5' Styles attached just below tip of fruit, slender throughout or widest near base
 
          13. Styles < or ± = 1 mm, tapered from rough-thickened base to tip
 
            14. Perennial; basal leaves generally present in flower; rocky alpine barrens, > 2700 m — leaflets densely hairy, at least below
 
              15. Leaf ± pinnate; leaflets 5–11, lobed ± 2/3 to midvein
P. pensylvanica
              15' Leaf generally ± palmate; leaflets ± 5, lobed > 3/4 to midvein
P. pseudosericea
            14' Annual (or short-lived perennial herb); basal leaves often withered or fallen in flower; generally moist or disturbed areas, < 3100 m
 
              16. Leaf pinnate, leaflets 9–17; petals > sepals, cream, ± obcordate — leaflets lobed > 1/2 to widvein; Modoc Plateau
2 P. newberryi
              16' Leaf generally ± palmate or ternate, leaflets 3–7; petals < sepals, yellow fading white, generally elliptic to obovate
 
                17. Stem-base hairs generally ± dense, glandular or not, < 1 mm, spreading or not; petals < 2.5 mm; hypanthium generally 2–4 mm wide; fruit smooth, < 1 mm, whitish or light brown; native
 
                  18. Stem hairs glandular and not; leaflets 3, ± obovate; petals oblanceolate-elliptic
P. biennis
                  18' Stem hairs glandless; leaflets 3–5, oblanceolate to elliptic; petals obovate-elliptic
P. rivalis
                17' Stem-base hairs sparse, glandless, < 2 mm, spreading; petals > 3 mm; hypanthium 3–10 mm wide; fruit veined, ± 1–1.5 mm, ± brown; alien
 
                  19. Leaflets generally 3; petals 3–4 mm; anthers ± 0.3 mm; annual or short-lived perennial herb
P. norvegica
                  19' Leaflets generally 6–7; petals 6–9 mm; anthers ± 1 mm; short-lived perennial herb
2 P. recta
          13' Styles > 1 mm (except P. recta), generally slender — petals ± obcordate, > sepals
 
            20. Leaflets 3; inflorescence generally < 7-flowered — stem ± ascending to erect, generally < 30 cm (see also Fragaria, Sibbaldia)
 
              21. Leaflets lobed ± 1/2 to base, sparsely glandular; styles ± rough-thickened at base; Klamath Ranges
P. cristae
              21' Leaflets not lobed, ± nonglandular; styles slender throughout; Klamath Ranges, High Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada
 
                22. Teeth of central leaflet generally > 7, generally uneven, ± 1/4 to base; pedicel 10–20 mm; pistils > ± 20; stem ± glabrous or sparsely spreading-hairy; Klamath Ranges, High Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada
P. flabellifolia
                22' Teeth of central leaflet 7, even, 1/4–1/2 to base; pedicel 10–40 mm; pistils < ± 20; stem sparsely strigose; High Sierra Nevada
P. grayi
            20' Leaflets > 3; inflorescence often > 7-flowered
 
              23. Leaf pinnate to subpalmate (see also Horkelia, Horkeliella, Ivesia)
 
                24. Annual to short-lived perennial herb; petals cream; styles 1–1.5 mm; fruit veined — leaflet lobes oblanceolate; receding shorelines; Modoc Plateau
2 P. newberryi
                24' Perennial; petals yellow; styles > 1.5 mm; fruit generally smooth
 
                  25. Leaf densely white-tomentose below, green and strigose above; styles ± 1.5–2 mm — alpine barrens; n White and Inyo Mountains
P. morefieldii
                  25' Leaf surfaces similarly hairy (but hairs often denser below); styles 2–3 mm
 
                    26. Basal leaf generally > 1/2 stem; pedicel generally ± recurved in fruit; < 2000 m
 
                      27. Lateral leaflets toothed < 1/2 to base; pistils ± 5; stem 20–50 cm — South Coast, brackish meadows, presumed extinct
P. multijuga
                      27' Lateral leaflets toothed ± 1/2 or lobed ± fully to base; pistils generally > 10; stem 5–45 cm
 
                        28. Leaflet ± 4-toothed ± 1/2 to base; pistils generally ± 10; plant ± subglabrous; c Central Coast, s Outer North Coast Ranges?, < 100 m
P. hickmanii
                        28' Leaflet 3–10-lobed > 1/2 to base; pistils 10–30; plant sometimes hairy; High Cascade Range, Great Basin Floristic Province, adjacent n High Sierra Nevada, 900–2000 m
P. millefolia
                    26' Basal leaf < 1/2 stem; pedicel ± straight in fruit; 1100–3700 m
P. drummondii
                      29. Petiole generally < blade, cottony-hairy; leaflets 3–7 per side, ± overlapped, palmately lobed > 1/2 to base — generally white-hairy
subsp. breweri
                      29' Petiole generally > blade, glabrous to shaggy-hairy; leaflets generally 2–4 per side, sometimes separated, pinnately toothed ± 1/2 to midvein, sometimes split to base
 
                        30. Leaflets generally gray-hairy, ± overlapped; petiole generally densely straight- or shaggy-hairy
subsp. bruceae
                        30' Leaflets green, glabrous to ± hairy, generally separated; petiole glabrous or strigose
subsp. drummondii
              23' Leaf palmate
 
                31. Stem ± prostrate or hanging, generally < 25 cm; inflorescence not flat-topped, pedicels often ± recurved in fruit; leaflet teeth < 10 — > 1800 m, s California Floristic Province, White and Inyo Mountains
 
                  32. Leaflets densely white-tomentose below, green and strigose above; inflorescence generally 1–5-flowered — ± 3200 m; White and Inyo Mountains
P. concinna
                  32' Leaflet surfaces ± equally strigose; inflorescence generally > 5-flowered
 
                    33. Plant hanging from rock crevices; fruits generally 5–20, ± smooth; pedicels generally > 15 mm; San Jacinto Mountains
P. rimicola
                    33' Plant rosetted to tufted in sandy soil; fruits generally > 15, ± veined; pedicels generally < 15 mm; s High Sierra Nevada, San Bernardino Mountains, San Jacinto Mountains
P. wheeleri
                31' Stem ± ascending, generally 10–100 cm; inflorescence flat-topped, pedicels ± straight; leaflet teeth often > 10
 
                  34. Styles ± 1 mm, generally > 50; basal leaves generally fallen or withered in flower; stem short- and long-spreading-hairy; fruit veined; bractlets ± = sepals; alien
2 P. recta
                  34' Styles generally 1.5–2 mm, < 50; basal leaves generally prominent in flower; stem glabrous or hairs of 1 length; fruit smooth; bractlets ± 1/2–2/3 sepals; native
 
                    35. Leaflet base generally untoothed; stem 10–40 cm, base glabrous; anthers 0.4–0.9 mm; fruit 1.5 mm; 2600– 3500 m; c&s High Sierra Nevada
P. diversifolia var. diversifolia
                    35' Leaflet generally toothed or lobed ± throughout; stem 20–100 cm, base hairy; anthers 0.6–1.6 mm; fruit 1–1.5 mm; 120–3500 m; widespread
P. gracilis
                      36. Leaflet lobed > 3/4 to midvein; stem and petiole hairs generally appressed
 
                        37. Longest petiole generally 5–10 cm; central leaflet 2–6 cm, lobes often narrowest at base, entire; petals 5–8 mm; widespread
var. elmeri
                        37' Longest petiole generally 10–25 cm; central leaflet 5–9 cm, lobes generally widest at base, often few-toothed; petals 7–10 mm; Modoc Plateau
var. flabelliformis
                      36' Leaflet toothed ± 1/2 or less to midvein; stem and petiole hairs spreading to appressed
 
                        38. Leaf surfaces similarly hairy, not tomentose; petals generally 4–7 mm; longest petiole generally 5–15 cm; widespread, 800–3500 m
var. fastigiata
                        38' Leaf surfaces very different, generally tomentose below, dark and ± glabrous above; petals 7–10 mm; longest petiole 5–25 cm; nw Klamath Ranges, n Outer North Coast Ranges, 120–1100 m
var. gracilis


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