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Vascular Plants of California
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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 W. Patterson, family description, key to genera, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Robert W. Patterson, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: MicrosterisView Description 

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)

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Botanical illustration including Microsteris gracilis

botanical illustration including Microsteris gracilis

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Citation for this treatment: Robert Patterson & Carolyn J. Ferguson 2012, Microsteris gracilis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on March 02, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on March 02, 2024.

Microsteris gracilis
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©2009 Thomas Stoughton
Microsteris gracilis
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©2012 Neal Kramer
Microsteris gracilis
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©2007 George W. Hartwell
Microsteris gracilis
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©2004 James M. Andre
Microsteris gracilis
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©2002 Gary A. Monroe

More photos of Microsteris gracilis
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Microsteris gracilis:
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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).