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Vascular Plants of California
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Circaea alpina subsp. pacifica

Higher Taxonomy
Family: OnagraceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to perennial herb (to tree). Leaf: cauline or basal, alternate, opposite, or whorled, generally simple and toothed (to pinnately compound); stipules 0 or generally deciduous. Inflorescence: spike, raceme, panicle, or flowers 1 in axils; bracted. Flower: generally bisexual, generally radial, often opening at either dawn or dusk; hypanthium generally prolonged beyond ovary (measured from ovary tip to sepal base); sepals 4(2--7); petals 4(2--7, rarely 0), often fading darker; stamens 2 × or = sepals in number, anthers 2-chambered, opening lengthwise, pollen interconnected by threads; ovary inferior, chambers generally as many as sepals (sometimes becoming 1), placentas axile or parietal, ovules 1--many per chamber, style 1, stigma 4-lobed (or lobes as many as sepals), club-shaped, spheric, or hemispheric. Fruit: capsule, loculicidal (sometimes berry or indehiscent and nut-like). Seed: sometimes winged or hair-tufted.
Genera In Family: 22 genera, +- 657 species: worldwide, especially western North America; many cultivated (Clarkia, Epilobium, Fuchsia, Oenothera). Note: Gaura moved to Oenothera. Fuchsia magellanica Lam. naturalized in northern California.
eFlora Treatment Author: Warren L. Wagner & Peter C. Hoch, family description, key to genera, treatment of genera by Warren L. Wagner, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Robert Patterson, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: CircaeaView Description 

Habit: Perennial herb from tuber-tipped rhizomes or stolons. Leaf: opposite, petioled, entire to toothed; stipules present, occasionally deciduous. Inflorescence: raceme or panicle. Flower: hypanthium present; biradial; sepals 2, often reflexed, deciduous after flower (along with other flower parts); petals 2, erect; stamens 2, pollen yellow, grains shed singly; ovary chambers 1--2, stigmas maturing before anthers. Fruit: indehiscent, generally club-shaped, bur-like with hooked hairs. Seed: 1 per chamber, adhering to inner fruit wall.
Species In Genus: 8 species: northern hemisphere. Etymology: (Greek: Circe, the enchantress) Note: Often self-pollinated.
eFlora Treatment Author: Peter C. Hoch
Reference: Wagner et al. 2007 Syst Bot Monogr 83:78--81
Unabridged Reference: Boufford 1982 Ann Missouri Bot Gard 69:804--994
Circaea alpina L. subsp. pacifica (Asch. & Magnus) P.H. Raven
Stem: 1--5 dm, simple, erect, slender, cylindric, generally densely strigose. Leaf: 3--11 cm, ovate to +- round, glabrous or +- hairy; base round to +- cordate; tip acute; petiole 1.5--5 cm. Inflorescence: raceme, erect, densely strigose and glandular; pedicel in fruit 2--5 mm. Flower: hypanthium 0.3--0.5 mm; sepals 1--2 mm, white, reflexed; petals 1--1.5 mm, white; stamens +- = pistil; stigma 2-lobed. Fruit: +- 2 mm, 1-chambered. Chromosomes: 2n=22.
Ecology: Cool, moist, conifer forest; Elevation: < 2700 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaR, n SNF, SNH, SnFrB, SnBr, Wrn; Distribution Outside California: to western Canada, Montana, New Mexico. Flowering Time: May--Aug
Jepson eFlora Author: Peter C. Hoch
Reference: Wagner et al. 2007 Syst Bot Monogr 83:78--81
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Circaea alpina subsp. pacifica

botanical illustration including Circaea alpina subsp. pacifica


Citation for this treatment: Peter C. Hoch 2012, Circaea alpina subsp. pacifica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=49874, accessed on May 29, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 29, 2020.

Circaea alpina subsp. pacifica
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© 2018 Vernon Smith
Circaea alpina subsp. pacifica
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© 2001 Gary A. Monroe
Circaea alpina subsp. pacifica
click for enlargement
© 2001 Gary A. Monroe
Circaea alpina subsp. pacifica
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Breckling
Circaea alpina subsp. pacifica
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© 2003 Steve Matson
Circaea alpina subsp. pacifica
click for enlargement
© 2003 Steve Matson

More photos of Circaea alpina subsp. pacifica in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Circaea alpina subsp. pacifica:
NW, CaR, n SNF, SNH, SnFrB, SnBr, Wrn
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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).