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Vascular Plants of California
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Toxicoscordion paniculatum

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: ToxicoscordionView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: DEATH CAMAS
Stem: +- scapose. Leaf: +- basal, reduced upward, linear, generally folded, +- curved, entire, deciduous after 1 year. Inflorescence: raceme or panicle; flower bracts 1 (or reportedly 2). Flower: staminate, sterile, or generally bisexual; perianth parts 6, petal-like, free or +- fused to ovary base, white to +- yellow [or not], adaxially with [0]1[2] glands near base; stamens 6, free to +- attached to perianth; ovary superior, chambers 3, styles 3. Fruit: capsule, septicidal. Seed: many.
Etymology: (Greek: poison garlic, for poisonous bulb) Toxicity: All taxa highly TOXIC (generally unpalatable) to livestock, humans from alkaloids (especially in bulbs). Note: As treated in TJM (1993), Zigadenus polyphyletic, so California members transferred to Toxicoscordion (Zomlefer & Judd 2002 Novon 12:299--308).
eFlora Treatment Author: Dale W. McNeal & Wendy B. Zomlefer
Toxicoscordion paniculatum (Nutt.) Rydb.
Habit: Bulb 30--50 mm, 8--30 mm wide, ovoid; outer coat dark brown to black. Stem: 20--70 cm, glabrous. Leaf: 20--50 cm, 6--16 mm wide, scabrous-ciliate. Inflorescence: panicle, 10--30 cm; bracts 5--15 mm, green; pedicels in fruit spreading to ascending, 3--25 mm. Flower: bisexual or on branches sterile or staminate; perianth parts 2--6 mm, unequal, outer generally +- not clawed, inner clawed, gland distal margin evident or not; stamens +-, occasionally > perianth; styles ascending to erect. Fruit: 8--20 mm, cylindric. Chromosomes: n=11.
Ecology: Dry sagebrush scrub to conifer forest; Elevation: 1200--2300 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaR, n SNH, GB; Distribution Outside California: to Washington, Montana, Colorado, New Mexico. Flowering Time: May--Jun
Synonyms: Zigadenus paniculatus (Nutt.) S. Watson
Jepson eFlora Author: Dale W. McNeal & Wendy B. Zomlefer
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Toxicoscordion micranthum
Next taxon: Toxicoscordion venenosum var. venenosum

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Botanical illustration including Toxicoscordion paniculatum

botanical illustration including Toxicoscordion paniculatum

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Citation for this treatment: Dale W. McNeal & Wendy B. Zomlefer 2012, Toxicoscordion paniculatum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 17, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 17, 2024.

Toxicoscordion paniculatum
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©2015 Barry Breckling
Toxicoscordion paniculatum
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©2020 Barry Breckling
Toxicoscordion paniculatum
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©1997 Christopher L. Christie
Toxicoscordion paniculatum
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©2006 George W. Hartwell
Toxicoscordion paniculatum
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©2010 Barry Breckling

More photos of Toxicoscordion paniculatum
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Toxicoscordion paniculatum:
NW, CaR, n SNH, GB
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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.
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).