Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M |
| N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon

Microsteris gracilis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: PolemoniaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, shrub, vine. Leaf: simple or compound, cauline (or most basal), alternate or opposite; stipules 0. Inflorescence: cymes, heads, clusters, or flower 1; bracts in involucres or not. Flower: sepals generally 5, fused at base, translucent membrane generally connecting lobes, torn by fruit; corolla generally 5-lobed, radial or bilateral, salverform to bell-shaped, throat often well defined; stamens generally 5, epipetalous, attached at >= 1 level, filaments of >= 1 length, pollen white, yellow, blue, or red; ovary superior, chambers generally 3, style 1, stigmas generally 3. Fruit: capsule. Seed: 1--many, when wetted swelling or not, gelatinous or not.
Genera In Family: 26 genera, 314 species: America, northern Europe, northern Asia; some cultivated (Cantua, Cobaea (cup-and-saucer vine), Collomia, Gilia, Ipomopsis, Linanthus, Phlox). Note: Leptodactylon moved to Linanthus.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert Patterson, family description, key to genera, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Robert Patterson, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: MicrosterisView Description 

Species In Genus: 1 sp. Etymology: (Greek: small, to support, presumably referring to small size)
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert Patterson & Carolyn J. Ferguson
Reference: Cronquist 1984 Intermountain Flora 4:108
Microsteris gracilis (Hook.) Greene
Habit: Annual; generally glandular-hairy above. Stem: erect and simple to decumbent and much-branched, < 20 cm. Leaf: opposite below, often alternate above, 10--30 mm, oblanceolate to lanceolate. Flower: calyx 5--10 mm, membrane narrower than lobes; corolla tube 8--12 mm, +- yellow, lobes 1--2 mm, generally truncate or notched, bright pink (base white or not) to white; stamens, style included. Seed: gelatinous when wet. Chromosomes: 2n=14.
Ecology: Dry to moist areas; Elevation: < 3300 m. Bioregional Distribution: CA; Distribution Outside California: to British Columbia, Montana, Colorado, Mexico; also in South America. Flowering Time: Mar--Aug Note: Subspecies, varieties have been recognized; study needed.
Synonyms: Microsteris gracilis subsp. gracilis; Microsteris gracilis var. gracilis; Microsteris gracilis subsp. humilis (Greene) V.E. Grant; Microsteris gracilis subsp. humilior (Greene) H. Mason, ined.; Microsteris gracilis subsp. humilior (Greene) H. Mason, ined.; Microsteris gracilis var. humilior (Hook.) Cronquist; Phlox gracilis (Hook.) Greene
Jepson eFlora Author: Robert Patterson & Carolyn J. Ferguson
Reference: Cronquist 1984 Intermountain Flora 4:108
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Microsteris
Next taxon: Navarretia

Name Search

Botanical illustration including Microsteris gracilis

botanical illustration including Microsteris gracilis


Citation for this treatment: Robert Patterson & Carolyn J. Ferguson 2012, Microsteris gracilis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=33480, accessed on April 05, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 05, 2020.

Microsteris gracilis
click for enlargement
© 2016 Aaron Schusteff
Microsteris gracilis
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Breckling
Microsteris gracilis
click for enlargement
© 2009 George W. Hartwell
Microsteris gracilis
click for enlargement
© 2003 Steve Matson
Microsteris gracilis var. gracilis
click for enlargement
© 2013 Gary A. Monroe
Microsteris gracilis
click for enlargement
© 2010 James M. Andre

More photos of Microsteris gracilis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Microsteris gracilis:
1. You can change the display of the base map and layers by clicking on the layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. California county polygons can be turned off and on in the layer control box.
3. Filling of Jepson subdivision polygons can be turned off and on in the layer control box.
4. Moving the cursor over any numbered cluster will show the range boundary of the included specimens (with a blue polygon).
5. Marker clustering can be turned off by clicking this link:      Marker Clustering OFF
WARNING: Turning this off might cause maps with large numbers of specimens to load slowly.
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).


View elevation by latitude chart

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).