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Vascular Plants of California
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Howellia aquatilis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: CampanulaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to perennial herb [tree]. Leaf: generally cauline, generally simple, generally alternate, petioled or not; stipules 0. Inflorescence: cyme, panicle, raceme, spike, or flowers 1; terminal or in axils of leaf-like or reduced bracts. Flower: bisexual, cleistogamous or open, radial or bilateral, inverted (pedicel twisted 180°) or not; hypanthium generally present, +- fused to ovary; sepals generally 5; corolla radial to 2-lipped, petals generally fused, tube deeply divided on 1 side or not, lobes generally 5; stamens 5, free or +- fused (anthers, filaments fused into tube or filaments fused above middle); ovary inferior or 1/2 inferior (superior in fruit), chambers 1--3, placentas axile or parietal, ovules many, style generally 1, 2--5-branched. Fruit: generally capsule, open on sides or top by pores or short valves. Seed: many.
Genera In Family: +- 90 genera, +- 2500 species: worldwide. Note: Some cultivated for ornament (Campanula, Jasione, Lobelia). Subfamilies sometimes treated as families. Positions of flower parts given after flowering inversion, if any. Parishella moved to Nemacladus.
eFlora Treatment Author: Nancy R. Morin, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: HowelliaView Description 

Etymology: (Thomas (1842--1912) and Joseph (1830--1912) Howell, brothers and botanists in Pacific Northwest)
Howellia aquatilis A. Gray
Habit: Annual, aquatic, rooted, glabrous. Stem: submersed, ascending to erect, or floating; 10--60 cm. Leaf: alternate (sometimes +- opposite or whorled), cauline, linear, entire or minutely toothed, sessile. Inflorescence: flowers 1 in leaf or bract axils, scattered; pedicels stout, 1--4(8) mm; bract 1 per flower. Flower: inverted; sepals 1/6--2/5 ovary, narrowly triangular; corolla white, 0 in lower flowers or not, tube 2--2.7 mm, narrowly cylindric, split adaxially +- to base, +- 2-lipped, 2 adaxial lobes +- 1--1.3 mm, narrowly strap-shaped, spreading, 3 abaxial lobes +- 1--1.3 mm; stamens fused into tube, anthers 0.2--0.9 mm, 2 shorter anthers minutely appendaged; ovary inferior, 5--13 mm, ellipsoid, stigma head-like. Fruit: 5--13 mm, 1--2 mm diam, ellipsoid, 1-chambered, depressed-conic at top, open on sides by slits or irregular tears. Seed: 2--4 mm, cylindric, shiny, chestnut-brown.
Ecology: Seasonal ponds; Elevation: 1100--1500 m. Bioregional Distribution: NCoRH; Distribution Outside California: to Washington, Montana. Flowering Time: Jun--Aug
Jepson eFlora Author: Nancy R. Morin
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 Howellia aquatilis

botanical illustration including Howellia aquatilis

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Citation for this treatment: Nancy R. Morin 2012, Howellia aquatilis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 14, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 14, 2024.

Howellia aquatilis
click for enlargement
©2005 Dieter Wilken

More photos of Howellia aquatilis
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Howellia aquatilis:
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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).