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Vascular Plants of California
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Oreocarya virginensis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: BoraginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, or shrub, often bristly or sharp-hairy. Stem: prostrate-decumbent to erect. Leaf: basal and/or cauline, simple, generally alternate, sometimes opposite, especially at base. Inflorescence: cymes, arranged singly or in groups of 2--5, generally coiled in flower, generally elongating in fruit. Flower: bisexual, generally radial; sepals 5, free or fused at least at base; corolla 5-lobed, salverform, funnel-shaped, rotate, or bell-shaped, appendages (often called "fornices") 0 or 5 at top of tube, when present often differentially pigmented, alternate stamens; stamens epipetalous; ovary superior, 4-lobed, style 1, entire or minutely 2-lobed (2-branched). Fruit: nutlets 1--4, when > 1, all similar (often called "homomorphic") or 1 or 2 dissimilar in size and/or shape from the others (often called "heteromorphic"), free (fused), smooth to roughened, prickly or bristly or not.
Genera In Family: +- 90 genera, +- 1600--1700 species: mostly temperate, especially western North America, Mediterranean; some cultivated (Borago, Echium, Myosotis, Symphytum). Toxicity: Many genera may be TOXIC from pyrrolizidine alkaloids or accumulated nitrates. Note: Sometimes still treated in broader sense of TJM2 (e.g., APG IV 2016 Bot J Linn Soc 181:1--20), but recent evidence (Luebert et al. 2016) supports segregation, for our flora, of the families Ehretiaceae, Heliotropiaceae, Hydrophyllaceae, Lennoaceae, and Namaceae.
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael G. Simpson, C. Matt Guilliams, Kristen Hasenstab-Lehman & Ronald B. Kelley
Scientific Editor: Bruce G. Baldwin, C. Matt Guilliams, Kristen Hasenstab-Lehman, David J. Keil, Ronald B. Kelley, Robert W. Patterson, Thomas J. Rosatti & Michael G. Simpson
Oreocarya virginensis (M.E. Jones) J.F. Macbr.
Habit: Biennial to short-lived perennial herb, 10--40+ cm; caudex not woody, unbranched. Stem: 1--many, central > lateral; tomentose and with dense, spreading, +- yellow bristles. Leaf: basal rosette generally 1; 5--12 cm, oblanceolate to spoon-shaped, +- folded, thick, gray-green, dense-strigose to silky-tomentose, bristles bulbous-based, sparse, +- spreading abaxially, appressed adaxially. Inflorescence: dense, generally cylindric, wider in fruit; pedicel to 2--5 mm in fruit. Flower: scented; calyx 3--4 mm, 7--11 mm in fruit, dense-spreading-yellow-bristly; corolla deciduous, tube 3--4 mm, limb 7--10 mm diam, appendages yellow. Fruit: nutlets generally 1 or 2, 3.3--4.5 mm, wide-ovate, occasionally constricted above, +- tubercled, irregularly wrinkled, gray to tan, +- shiny, margin a +- flat narrow rim to sharp-angled; abaxially rough, ridge sharp-angled; adaxial attachment scar edges wide-triangular-gapped, edges +- raised; axis beyond nutlet(s).
Ecology: Loose, limestone soils; Elevation: 840--2450 m. Bioregional Distribution: SNE, DMoj; Distribution Outside California: to southwestern Utah, northwestern Arizona. Flowering Time: Apr--Jun
Synonyms: Cryptantha virginensis (M.E. Jones) Payson
Jepson eFlora Author: Kristen E. Hasenstab-Lehman, Ronald B. Kelley, & Michael G. Simpson
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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botanical illustration including Oreocarya virginensis

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Citation for this treatment: Kristen E. Hasenstab-Lehman, Ronald B. Kelley, & Michael G. Simpson 2021, Oreocarya virginensis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 9,, accessed on October 03, 2023.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2023, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 03, 2023.

No expert verified images found for Oreocarya virginensis.

Geographic subdivisions for Oreocarya virginensis:
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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.
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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).