Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Eryngium castrense

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Apiaceae (Umbelliferae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to perennial herb [shrub, tree], generally from taproot. Stem: generally +- scapose, generally ribbed, hollow. Leaf: basal and generally cauline, generally alternate; stipules generally 0; petiole base generally sheathing stem; blade generally much dissected, occasionally compound. Inflorescence: umbel or head, simple or compound, generally peduncled; bracts present in involucres or 0; bractlets generally present in "involucels". Flower: many, small, generally bisexual (or some staminate), generally radial (or outer bilateral); calyx 0 or lobes 5, small; petals 5, free, generally ovate or spoon-shaped, generally incurved at tips, generally +- ephemeral; stamens 5; pistil 1, ovary inferior, 2-chambered, generally with a +- conic, persistent projection or platform at tip subtending 2 free styles. Fruit: 2 dry, 1-seeded halves (= mericarps), separating from each other but generally +- persistent to central axis; ribs on halves 5, 2 marginal, 3 to back; oil tubes 1--several per interval between ribs.
Genera In Family: 300 genera, 3000 species: +- worldwide, especially temperate; many cultivated for food or spice (e.g., Carum, caraway; Daucus; Petroselinum); Bupleurum lancifolium Hornem. is historical garden weed; some toxic (e.g., Conium). Note: Mature fruit generally critical in identification, shape given in outline. Hydrocotyle moved to Araliaceae, Orogenia moved to Lomatium, Sphenosciadium moved to Angelica. Petroselinum crispum (Mill.) A.W. Hill is a waif.
eFlora Treatment Author: Lincoln Constance & Margriet Wetherwax, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Douglas H. Goldman, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: EryngiumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Biennial, perennial herb; taprooted, roots clustered, or rhizomes; generally glabrous, +- spiny. Stem: decumbent to erect, generally branched. Leaf: basal rosette, cauline; petioles present or 0; blades linear to triangular-ovate or round, generally pinnately or palmately lobed or dissected (entire), generally sharp-toothed or spine-tipped, net-veined; juvenile leaves linear, segmented. Inflorescence: heads 1--many in cymes, racemes [panicles]; bracts each generally subtend 1 flower, with scarious membrane enclosing ovary, outer > to >> inner, spiny or not on margins and abaxially; rays, pedicels 0. Flower: sepals spine-tipped, generally persistent; petals oblong to ovate or oblanceolate, white to blue or purple, tip long; anthers, styles generally green, occasionally blue; ovary tip projection 0. Fruit: obconic to obovate or narrowly elliptic [round], compressed or not, densely scaly; scales at fruit tip and along juncture of carpels generally larger, longer than on face or base; ribs 0; oil tubes obscure; fruit central axis not obvious. Seed: face generally flat.
Species In Genus: +- 230 species: America, Eurasia, Australia, New Zealand. Etymology: (Ancient Greek name used by Theophrastus) Note: California species variable, intergrading, need study.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert E. Preston, Michael S. Park & Lincoln Constance
Reference: Marsden & Simpson 1999 Madroño 46:61--64
Unabridged Reference: Sheikh 1983 Madroño 30:93--101
Eryngium castrense Jeps.
Habit: Glabrous. Stem: ascending to erect, 2--6 dm, many-branched 2--5 cm distal to rosette, spiny, glabrous. Leaf: petiole short to 0, << blade; blade 10--30 cm, oblong to lanceolate, deeply pinnately or bipinnately lobed. Inflorescence: heads 8--15 mm, +- spheric, in cymes; peduncle 0.5--2.5 cm; bracts 15--30 mm, linear, densely spiny on margins and abaxially. Flower: sepals 3--3.5 mm, lanceolate, margin scarious, entire (pinnately lobed or toothed in CaRF & c SNF), tapered to tip-spine; petals oblanceolate, white or faintly purple; styles 3.5--4.5 mm, generally > sepals. Fruit: 3--3.5 mm, narrowly elliptic; scales dense, +- unequal, lanceolate, acuminate, papillate. Chromosomes: 2n=32,64.
Ecology: Vernal pools, wet swales, intermittent streambeds; Elevation: < 900 m. Bioregional Distribution: CaRF, n&c SNF, e GV, e SnFrB (Diablo Range). Flowering Time: Apr--Jul Note: Intergrades with Eryngium spinosepalum in southern SNF and Eryngium vaseyi var. vallicola in SnJV.
Unabridged Synonyms: Eryngium vaseyi var. castrense (Jeps.) Mathias & Constance; Eryngium spinosepalum var. medium (Jeps.) Mathias; Eryngium globosum Jeps. var. medium Jeps., illeg.
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert E. Preston, Michael S. Park & Lincoln Constance
Reference: Marsden & Simpson 1999 Madroño 46:61--64
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston, Michael S. Park & Lincoln Constance 2012, Eryngium castrense, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 17, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 17, 2022.

Eryngium castrense
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© 2007 Neal Kramer
Eryngium castrense
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© 2022 Neal Kramer
Eryngium castrense
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© 2020 Neal Kramer
Eryngium castrense
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© 2011 Barry Breckling
Eryngium castrense
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© 2020 Neal Kramer
Eryngium castrense
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© 2020 Neal Kramer

More photos of Eryngium castrense in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Eryngium castrense:
CaRF, n&c SNF, e GV, e SnFrB (Diablo Range).
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
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).