Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Coptis laciniata

Higher Taxonomy
Family: RanunculaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, woody vine [shrub], occasionally aquatic. Leaf: generally basal and cauline, alternate or opposite, simple or compound; petioles at base generally flat, occasionally sheathing or stipule-like. Inflorescence: cyme, raceme, panicle, or flowers 1. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial; sepals 3--6(20), free, early-deciduous or withering in fruit, generally green; petals 0--many, generally free; stamens generally 5--many, staminodes generally 0; pistils 1--many, ovary superior, chamber 1, style 0--1, generally +- persistent as beak, ovules 1--many. Fruit: achene, follicle, berry, +- utricle in Trautvetteria, in aggregate or not, 1--many-seeded.
Genera In Family: +- 60 genera, 1700 species: worldwide, especially northern temperate, tropical mountains; many ornamental (Adonis, Aquilegia, Clematis, Consolida, Delphinium, Helleborus, Nigella). Toxicity: some highly TOXIC (Aconitum, Actaea, Delphinium, Ranunculus). Note: Taxa of Isopyrum in TJM (1993) moved to Enemion; Kumlienia moved to Ranunculus.
eFlora Treatment Author: Margriet Wetherwax & Dieter H. Wilken, family description, key to genera
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: CoptisView Description 

Habit: Perennial herb, generally glabrous. Stem: short, simple, stout, scaly. Leaf: 1--2-ternate or -pinnate, basal, petioled. Inflorescence: scapose, generally 1--4-flowered. Flower: bisexual or some staminate; sepals 5--8, petal-like, early-deciduous; petals 5--7, clawed, club-like with nectary at tip, or linear with nectary near base; pistils 4--15, short-stalked. Fruit: follicles, stalked, in umbel-like clusters, glabrous, walls papery, +- translucent. Seed: tan to dark brown, shiny, generally appearing wrinkled.
Species In Genus: +- 10 species: temperate North America, eastern Asia. Etymology: (Greek: cut, from leaves) Note: Petals sometimes considered modified staminodes.
eFlora Treatment Author: Bruce A. Ford & Dieter H. Wilken
Coptis laciniata A. Gray
Habit: Plant 11--24 cm; rhizomes or stolons slender, pale brown. Leaf: 3--8, generally 1(2)-ternate; leaflets ovate to triangular, terminal stalked or not, lobes generally 3, deeply, irregularly toothed to cut. Inflorescence: peduncle 5--10 cm, < leaves, in fruit to 25 cm, > leaves; pedicels 1.5--3 cm, elongated in fruit. Flower: sepals 6--11 mm, linear; petals 4--7 mm, claw +- thread-like, limb linear. Fruit: 5--11, stalk 4--7 mm, body 8--13 mm.
Ecology: Wet sites, seeps, streambanks, conifer forest; Elevation: 500--2000 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCo, w KR; Distribution Outside California: to Washington. Flowering Time: Mar--Apr
Jepson eFlora Author: Bruce A. Ford & Dieter H. Wilken
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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Botanical illustration including Coptis laciniata

botanical illustration including Coptis laciniata


Citation for this treatment: Bruce A. Ford & Dieter H. Wilken 2012, Coptis laciniata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 10, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 10, 2022.

No expert verified images found for Coptis laciniata.

Geographic subdivisions for Coptis laciniata:
NCo, w KR
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).