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Vascular Plants of California
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Dipterostemon capitatus subsp. capitatus

Higher Taxonomy
Family: ThemidaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Perennial herb from corm, outer coat fibrous [membranous]; daughter corms formed at stem base above corm of previous year, cormlets formed at base of corms or on short stolons. Leaf: basal, 1--10, linear to narrow-lanceolate. Inflorescence: scapose, generally umbel-like; scape erect, generally 1(2), cylindric, generally rigid, occasionally wavy to twining; flower bracts 2--4[10], not enclosing flower buds. Flower: perianth parts 6 in 2 petal-like whorls, free or +- fused below into tube; staminodes 0 or 3; stamens 3 or 6, free or fused to perianth, occasionally appendaged; ovary superior, chambers 3, ovules 2--several per chamber. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal.
Genera In Family: 13 genera, 70--80 species: western North America.
eFlora Treatment Author: J. Chris Pires & Robert E. Preston, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Dale W. McNeal, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: DipterostemonView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Cormlets sessile or on short stolons. Leaf: 2--5, generally keeled, entire, glabrous, occasionally withered by flowering. Inflorescence: few-flowered to dense; scape straight or +- curved; bracts +- papery; pedicels < to > flowers. Flower: perianth tube narrow-cylindric to short-bell-shaped, appendages 0; staminodes 0; stamens 6, unequal, 3 inner filaments with wing-like appendages, forming crown-like tube around anthers, anthers attached at base; style 1, stigma weakly 3-lobed. Fruit: generally sessile, generally ovoid, 3-angled. Seed: sharp-angled, black, finely striate.
Species In Genus: 1 species: western United States, northern Mexico. Etymology: (Greek: two-winged stamens)
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston & J. Chris Pires
Reference: Preston 2017 Phytoneuron 2017-15:1--11
Species: Dipterostemon capitatusView Description 

Common Name: BLUE DICKS
Leaf: 2--3, 10--70 cm, +- keeled. Inflorescence: scape (4.5)8.5--50(100) cm; bracts wide-lanceolate. Flower: perianth blue, blue-purple, pink-purple, or white, tube (2)3--8(10) mm, lobes generally ascending; 3 stamens opposite outer perianth parts with filaments (1)1.8--3.8(4) mm, anthers (1)1.7--3.1(4) mm, appendages 0; 3 stamens opposite inner perianth lobes with filaments (0.5)1--3(3.7) mm, anthers (2.4)2.9--5(6.2) mm, appendages (3)4--8(9) mm, erect, curved outward at tip, white; ovary (2)2.9--5.3(6.1) mm, style (2.5)3.2--8.5(9.5) mm.
Note: Morphologically and geographically distinct population groups indicate that additional subspecies warrant recognition; relationship between morphology and ploidy level needs study.
Dipterostemon capitatus (Benth.) Rydb. subsp. capitatus
Habit: Cormlets few to many. Inflorescence: bracts generally dark purple (paler, striped dark purple); pedicels (1)2--12(20) mm, generally < bracts; flowers 2--16(25). Flower: Perianth (10.5)12--20(23) mm, tube (3)4--8(10) mm; lobes oblong, (6.2)7.4--13(15.5) mm, truncate (cordate) at base, outer (3)3.5--7.5(9) mm wide, inner (3)4--8(9) mm wide; appendages of inner stamens (3.7)4.2--8(9) mm long; ovary (2.4)3--5.5(6.1) mm; style (3.3)4--8.6(9.5) mm. Chromosomes: n=9,18,27,36.
Ecology: Open areas in forest, woodland, scrub, desert, grassland, on many soils, including serpentine; Elevation: < 2500 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA (exc NCo, Wrn); Distribution Outside California: to Oregon, northern Mexico. Flowering Time: Feb--Jun
Synonyms: Brodiaea capitata Benth. var. insularis (Greene) J.F. Macbr.; Brodiaea insularis Greene; Dichelostemma insulare (Greene) Burnham; Dipterostemon insularis (Greene) Rydb.
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert E. Preston & J. Chris Pires
Reference: Preston 2017 Phytoneuron 2017-15:1--11
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston & J. Chris Pires 2019, Dipterostemon capitatus subsp. capitatus, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 7,, accessed on May 15, 2021.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2021, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 15, 2021.

Dichelostemma capitatum subsp. capitatum
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© 2016 Steve Matson
Dichelostemma capitatum subsp. capitatum
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© 2007 Neal Kramer
Dichelostemma capitatum subsp. capitatum
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Dichelostemma capitatum subsp. capitatum
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© 2009 Keir Morse
Dichelostemma capitatum subsp. capitatum
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Dichelostemma capitatum subsp. capitatum
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© 2009 Thomas Stoughton

More photos of Dichelostemma capitatum subsp. capitatum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Dipterostemon capitatus subsp. capitatus:
CA (exc NCo, Wrn)
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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).


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Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
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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).