Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Eryngium spinosepalum

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.
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; Taylor & Preston 2022 Phytoneuron 2022-45:1--8
Unabridged Reference: Sheikh 1983 Madroño 30:93--101
Eryngium spinosepalum Mathias
Habit: Glabrous. Stem: erect, 3--7.5 dm, stout, main stem branched 2--5 cm distal to rosette. Leaf: petiole 0.5--2 cm; blade 9--35 cm, >> petiole, oblong to oblanceolate, pinnately lobed. Inflorescence: heads 0.8--2 cm, ovoid to spheric, in cymes; peduncle 0--2 cm; bracts 7--30 mm, lance-linear, spines 3--4 pairs on margins, generally 0 abaxial spines. Flower: sepals 3.5--4.5 mm, lanceolate, pinnately lobed or toothed (entire in SnJV), tapered to tip-spine; petals oblong, white; styles 3--4 mm, < sepals. Fruit: 2.5--3 mm, narrowly elliptic; scales dense, unequal, oblong to ovate, acute, acute, glabrous. Chromosomes: 2n=32.
Ecology: Vernal pools, swales, roadside ditches; Elevation: 100--1270 m. Bioregional Distribution: s SNF, SnJV. Flowering Time: Apr--Jul Note: Intergrades with Eryngium castrense in central and southern SNF, Eryngium vaseyi in southwestern SnJV, Eryngium jepsonii in northwestern SnJV.
Unabridged Synonyms: Eryngium vaseyi var. globosum Mathias & Constance; Eryngium globosum Jeps., illeg., not Hemsl.
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert E. Preston, Michael S. Park & Lincoln Constance
Reference: Marsden & Simpson 1999 Madroño 46:61--64; Taylor & Preston 2022 Phytoneuron 2022-45:1--8
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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Citation for this treatment: Robert E. Preston, Michael S. Park & Lincoln Constance 2023, Eryngium spinosepalum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 12,, accessed on February 25, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on February 25, 2024.

Eryngium spinosepalum
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©2017 Neal Kramer
Eryngium spinosepalum
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©2016 Neal Kramer
Eryngium spinosepalum
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©2015 Neal Kramer
Eryngium spinosepalum
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©2016 Neal Kramer
Eryngium spinosepalum
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©2015 Neal Kramer

More photos of Eryngium spinosepalum
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Geographic subdivisions for Eryngium spinosepalum:
s SNF, SnJV.
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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).