Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
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Vancouveria chrysantha

Higher Taxonomy
Family: BerberidaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Perennial herb, shrub, [tree], generally rhizomed, caudexed or not, glabrous, glaucous, or hairy. Stem: spreading to erect, branched or not. Leaf: simple, 1--3-ternate, or pinnately compound, basal and cauline, generally alternate, deciduous or evergreen, petioled, stipuled. Inflorescence: generally raceme, spike, or panicle, scapose, terminal, or axillary. Flower: generally bisexual, radial; sepals 6--18 or 0, generally in whorls of 3; petals generally 6, in 2 whorls of 3, or 0; stamens 6--12(13), free or fused at base, in 2 whorls or not, anthers dehiscent by flap-like valves or longitudinal slits; ovary superior, chamber 1, ovules generally 1--10, style 1 or 0, stigma flat or spheric. Fruit: berry, capsule, achene [follicle].
Genera In Family: 16 genera, +- 670 species: temperate, tropics worldwide; some cultivated (Berberis, Epimedium, Nandina (heavenly bamboo), Vancouveria). Note: Lower sepals sometimes called "bracteoles," inner petals "staminodes".
eFlora Treatment Author: Michael P. Williams
Scientific Editor: Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: VancouveriaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Perennial herb, rhizomes extensive, scales brown. Stem: 0. Leaf: basal, long-petioled, 2--3-ternate; leaflet blades ovate to +- cordate, lobes 3, shallow, teeth 0 or shallow. Inflorescence: raceme or panicle, +- scapose, open, long-peduncled; flowers spreading to pendent. Flower: sepals generally 12--15, 8--9 mm, outer 6--9 << inner 6, bract-like, deciduous, inner petal-like, persistent, in age reflexed; petals 6, < inner sepals, reflexed from base, distally glandular; stamens generally 6, held against ovary, style, anther valves flap-like, pointed tipward; ovules 2--10, style 1, < ovary, persistent, beak-like in fruit, stigma cup-like. Fruit: capsule, 2-valved, generally elliptic. Seed: with oily body for ant dispersal.
Species In Genus: 3 species: temperate western North America. Etymology: (Captain George Vancouver, British explorer, 1757--1798) Note: Pedicel appears to arise from inside flower, from tip instead of base, yielding an upside-down or "inside-out" flower.
Reference: Zhang 2007 Syst Bot 32:81--92
Unabridged Reference: Stearn 1938 J Linn Soc Bot 51:409--535
Vancouveria chrysantha Greene
Leaf: persistent in fruit, 10--36 cm, adaxially glabrous to sparse-short-hairy, abaxially sparse- to dense-hairy; petiole sparse-hairy, in age red-brown. Inflorescence: generally +- raceme, branched below or not; upper axis, pedicels short glandular-hairy. Flower: outer sepals 2--4 mm, inner 6--10 mm; petals 4--6 mm, yellow, tip reflexed, hood-like; filaments glandular-hairy. Fruit: body 9--12 mm, short-glandular-hairy. Chromosomes: 2n=12.
Ecology: Dry sites, chaparral, conifer forest; Elevation: < 1500 m. Bioregional Distribution: n NCo, w KR; Distribution Outside California: southwestern Oregon. Flowering Time: May--Jun
Jepson eFlora Author: Michael P. Williams
Reference: Zhang 2007 Syst Bot 32:81--92
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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Botanical illustration including Vancouveria chrysantha

botanical illustration including Vancouveria chrysantha


Citation for this treatment: Michael P. Williams 2012, Vancouveria chrysantha, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 24, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 24, 2022.

Vancouveria chrysantha
click for enlargement
© 2014 Dana York
Vancouveria chrysantha
click for enlargement
© 2018 John Game
Vancouveria chrysantha
click for enlargement
© 2014 Dana York
Vancouveria chrysantha
click for enlargement
© 2018 John Game
Vancouveria chrysantha
click for enlargement
© 2017 Steve Matson
Vancouveria chrysantha
click for enlargement
© 2017 Steve Matson

More photos of Vancouveria chrysantha in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Vancouveria chrysantha:
n NCo, w KR
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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).