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Vascular Plants of California
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Oxypolis occidentalis

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: OxypolisView Description 

Habit: Perennial herb, glabrous; tubers clustered. Stem: erect, generally branched. Leaf: blade oblong [linear, triangular-ovate], pinnate, [simple, ternate]; main axis segmented, hollow, occasionally bladeless. Inflorescence: umbels compound; involucre, involucel variable; bracts, bractlets 0 or 1--several, +- inconspicuous; rays, pedicels few to many, spreading-ascending. Flower: calyx lobes evident [minute] but not a persistent crown on fruit; petals wide, white, tips narrowed. Fruit: oblong to obovate, compressed front-to-back; ribs unequal, marginal widely thin-winged, wings veined on back at inner margin, others thread-like; oil tube 1 per rib-interval; fruit axis divided to base.
Species In Genus: +- 6 species: western and eastern United States, Caribbean. Etymology: (Greek: sharp white)
eFlora Treatment Author: Lincoln Constance & Margriet Wetherwax
Oxypolis occidentalis J.M. Coult. & Rose
Habit: Plant 6--15 dm. Leaf: petiole 1--5 dm; blade 12--30 cm, oblong, 1-pinnate, leaflets 5--13, 3.5--9.5 cm, lanceolate to widely ovate, crenate to serrate or irregularly cut; cauline leaves with enlarged petiole, smaller leaflets than basal. Inflorescence: peduncle 6--30 cm; bracts 0--1(8), 5--20 mm, linear, scarious; bractlets like bracts, < 10 mm; rays 12--24, 2--8.5 cm; pedicels 3--15 mm. Flower: calyx lobes conspicuous. Fruit: 5--6 mm, oblong or ovate. Chromosomes: 2n=36.
Ecology: Bogs, wet meadows, stream sides, generally in conifer forest; Elevation: < 2700 m. Bioregional Distribution: CaRF, SN, SnGb, SnBr, W&I; Distribution Outside California: Oregon, British Columbia. Flowering Time: Jul--Aug
Jepson eFlora Author: Lincoln Constance & Margriet Wetherwax
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Oxypolis occidentalis

botanical illustration including Oxypolis occidentalis


Citation for this treatment: Lincoln Constance & Margriet Wetherwax 2012, Oxypolis occidentalis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=35715, accessed on August 04, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 04, 2020.

Oxypolis occidentalis
click for enlargement
© 2010 Barry Breckling
Oxypolis occidentalis
click for enlargement
© 2010 Barry Breckling
Oxypolis occidentalis
click for enlargement
© 2010 Barry Breckling

More photos of Oxypolis occidentalis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Oxypolis occidentalis:
CaRF, SN, SnGb, SnBr, W&I
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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).


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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).