Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Stenanthium occidentale

Higher Taxonomy
Family: MelanthiaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Perennial herb, from rhizome or bulb, or rhizomes ending in weakly developed bulbs, scapose or not. Leaf: alternate, whorled, or mostly basal and spirally arranged, deciduous after 1 year or not. Inflorescence: raceme, panicle, or flowers 1. Flower: perianth parts 6, in 2 petal-like whorls or of sepals and petals, free or fused below, +- spreading; stamens 6, from perianth, anthers attached at base or near middle; ovary superior or partly inferior, chambers 3, styles 3, persistent. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal or septicidal.
Genera In Family: 10 genera, 130 species: northern hemisphere. Note: W North America Zigadenus moved to Toxicoscordion.
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Dale W. McNeal, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: StenanthiumView Description 

Stem: +- scapose, simple or branched. Leaf: mostly basal, grass-like; cauline 1--2, much reduced; deciduous after 1 year. Flower: nodding, unisexual or not; perianth parts free or +- fused at base, glands 0; filaments wider at base, anthers attached near middle, 1-chambered; ovary partly inferior (at base), ovoid. Fruit: septicidal. Seed: oblong, coat loose, winged at both ends.
Species In Genus: 5 species: North America, Asia. Etymology: (Greek: narrow flower)
Reference: Zomlefer et al. 2006 Aliso 22:566--578
Unabridged Reference: Zomlefer, W. B., et al. 2006. A synopsis of Melanthiaceae with focus on character evolution in tribe Melanthieae. Aliso 22:566--578
Stenanthium occidentale A. Gray
Habit: Bulb 2--4 cm. Stem: 20--50 cm. Leaf: 10--30 cm, 3--15 mm wide. Inflorescence: raceme or panicle, 10--20 cm; bracts lance-linear, scarious; pedicels 5--30 mm, ascending. Flower: 1--2 cm, bell-shaped; perianth parts lance-oblong, pale green-yellow to +- purple, especially near margins or not, tips recurved. Fruit: 15--20 mm (including persistent styles). Seed: +- 3 mm. Chromosomes: n=8.
Ecology: Moist banks, thickets, meadows; Elevation: 1500--1900 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR; Distribution Outside California: to western Canada, Montana. Flowering Time: Late May--Jul
Jepson eFlora Author: Dale W. McNeal
Reference: Zomlefer et al. 2006 Aliso 22:566--578
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Stenanthium occidentale

botanical illustration including Stenanthium occidentale


Citation for this treatment: Dale W. McNeal 2012, Stenanthium occidentale, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 10, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 10, 2022.

Stenanthium occidentale
click for enlargement
© 2008 Aaron Schusteff
Stenanthium occidentale
click for enlargement
© 2008 Aaron Schusteff
Stenanthium occidentale
click for enlargement
© 2016 Dana York
Stenanthium occidentale
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Breckling
Stenanthium occidentale
click for enlargement
© 2008 Aaron Schusteff
Stenanthium occidentale
click for enlargement
© 2016 Dana York

More photos of Stenanthium occidentale in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Stenanthium occidentale:
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
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).