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Plagiobothrys torreyi var. perplexans

Higher Taxonomy
Family: BoraginaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to shrub or small tree, or non-green root parasite, often bristly or sharp-hairy. Stem: prostrate to erect. Leaf: basal and/or cauline, generally simple, generally alternate. Inflorescence: generally cymes, or panicle-, raceme-, head-, or spike-like, generally coiled in flower (often described as scorpioid), generally elongating in fruit, or flowers 1--2 per axil. Flower: bisexual, generally radial; sepals (4)5(10), fused at least at base, or free; corolla (4)5(10)-lobed, salverform, funnel-shaped, rotate, or bell-shaped, generally without scales at tube base, with 0 or 5 appendages at tube top, alternate stamens; stamens epipetalous; ovary generally superior, entire to 4-lobed, style 1(2), entire or 2-lobed or -branched. Fruit: valvate or circumscissile capsule or nutlets 1--4, free (fused), smooth to roughened, prickly or bristly or not.
Genera In Family: +- 120 genera, +- 2300 species: tropics, temperate, especially western North America, Mediterranean; some cultivated (Borago, Heliotropium, Echium, Myosotis, Nemophila, Phacelia, Symphytum, Wigandia). Toxicity: Many genera may be TOXIC from pyrrolizidine alkaloids or accumulated nitrates. Note: Recently treated to include Hydrophyllaceae, Lennoaceae. Wigandia urens added, as naturalized.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald B. Kelley, Robert Patterson, Richard R. Halse & Timothy C. Messick, family description, key to genera, treatment of genera by Ronald B. Kelley, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Ronald B. Kelley, Robert Patterson, Thomas J. Rosatti, Bruce G. Baldwin, David J. Keil.
Genus: PlagiobothrysView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual (perennial herb), generally strigose to spreading-hairy; fibrous- to taprooted, staining red dye present or not. Stem: branched at base or above, < 5 dm. Leaf: cauline or basal and cauline, 0.5--10 cm, generally smaller tipward, linear to oblanceolate. Inflorescence: raceme- or spike-like cymes, coiled in bud, generally elongate in fruit; bracts 0--many. Flower: calyx lobes fused below middle, 2--10 mm in fruit; corolla rotate to funnel-shaped or cylindric, white or white with yellow area, tube generally +- yellow inside, limb 1--12 mm diam, appendages prominent to minute, white to yellow. Fruit: nutlets generally 4, +- ovate (triangular to +- lanceolate), rarely on narrow stalk or short peg, variously roughened, abaxially generally with central ridge, lateral ridges, cross-ribs, generally tubercled, occasionally prickly or bristly; adaxially keeled above attachment scar, scar on side generally near middle to base, sometimes on bottom or oblique (on angle between side and bottom), generally raised.
Species In Genus: +- 65 species: temperate western North America, western South America, northeastern Asia, Australia. Etymology: (Greek: sideways pit, from position of nutlet attachment scar) Note: Nutlet characters in key generally best for 3 nutlets farthest from stem; yellow on corolla changes to white after pollination.
Unabridged Note: Fully mature nutlets needed for identification; in many species nutlet closest to stem often more firmly attached, larger, differently textured, and with completely different attachment scar than other 3; nutlet characters used in key focus on 3 more loosely attached nutlets. Intergradation common in some species groups; reticulate speciation in genus; sect. Allocarya often treated as separate genus; many species need study. Corolla size can diminish markedly during flower period. Yellow corolla appendages and, if present, contrasting yellow corolla centers, change to white after successful pollination.
eFlora Treatment Author: Ronald B. Kelley
Unabridged Reference: Horn 2000 Ph.D. Dissertation Univ Munich; Johnston 1932 Contr Arnold Arboretum 3:1--102
Species: Plagiobothrys torreyiView Description 

Habit: Annual, +- red, staining, stiffly-spreading-hairy. Stem: decumbent to erect, 0.5--3 dm. Leaf: basal in +- rosette, 1--8 cm; cauline alternate, ovate to oblong. Inflorescence: bracts throughout. Flower: calyx 1.5--4 mm, hairs straight; corolla limb 1.5--3 mm diam, stained pink, appendages pale yellow. Fruit: nutlet 1.5--2.2 mm, round-ovate, narrowed near tip, +- gray, +- dull; abaxial ridge, lateral ridges low, obscure, sparse-papillate, cross-ribs flat, +- smooth; scar near middle, +- round.

Plagiobothrys torreyi var. perplexans I.M. Johnst.
Habit: Annual, +- red, staining, hairs stiff, spreading. Stem: ascending to erect, 0.5--3 dm. Leaf: basal in +- rosette, 1--8 cm; cauline narrow-ovate. Flower: calyx 1.5--2.5 mm; corolla limb 2--3 mm diam. Fruit: nutlet 1.5--1.8 mm, pointed at base, gray to +- brown, arched, +- dull; abaxial ridge, lateral ridges tubercled, cross-ribs rounded, generally with rows of round, translucent papillae.
Ecology: Uncommon. Gravelly soils in chaparral, +- fire follower; Elevation: 500--2100 m. Bioregional Distribution: c&s SN. Flowering Time: Apr--Jun
Unabridged Note: Intergrades with, most closely related to Plagiobothrys tenellus, Plagiobothrys torreyi var. torreyi, with which it occurs at lower elevations of SNH. Probably more widespread than the few collections suggest. Yrs after publishing it, I.M. Johnston put Plagiobothrys torreyi var. perplexans in synonymy with a red form of Plagiobothrys shastensis, despite significant differences in nutlets and otherwise. Recent California collectors and annotators have misapplied material from SN belonging to Plagiobothrys torreyi var. perplexans to the distinctive Plagiobothrys verrucosus. Plagiobothrys torreyi var. perplexans is morphologically and ecologically consistent throughout its range, and is distinct from Plagiobothrys torreyi s.l., especially with respect to nutlets. Horn's dissertation, in 2000, clearly shows that none of the South America Plagiobothrys species has nutlets similar to Plagiobothrys torreyi var. perplexans.
Jepson eFlora Author: Ronald B. Kelley
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)
Listed on CNPS Rare Plant Inventory

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Citation for this treatment: Ronald B. Kelley 2012, Plagiobothrys torreyi var. perplexans, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 09, 2021.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2021, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on May 09, 2021.

Plagiobothrys torreyi var. perplexans
click for enlargement
© 2017 Neal Kramer
Plagiobothrys torreyi var. perplexans
click for enlargement
© 2017 Neal Kramer
Plagiobothrys torreyi var. perplexans
click for enlargement
© 2017 Neal Kramer
Plagiobothrys torreyi var. perplexans
click for enlargement
© 2017 Neal Kramer
Plagiobothrys torreyi var. perplexans
click for enlargement
© 2020 Neal Kramer
Plagiobothrys torreyi var. perplexans
click for enlargement
© 2019 Neal Kramer

More photos of Plagiobothrys torreyi var. perplexans in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Plagiobothrys torreyi var. perplexans:
c&s SN.
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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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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
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Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).