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Vascular Plants of California
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Toxicoscordion fremontii

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 fremontii (Torr.) Rydb.
Habit: Bulb 20--35 mm diam, +- spheric; outer coat black. Stem: 40--90 cm, glabrous. Leaf: 20--50 cm, 8--30 mm wide, curved, scabrous-ciliate. Inflorescence: panicle or raceme, 5--40 cm, open; bracts 5--50 mm, green; pedicels spreading in fruit, 10--50 mm. Flower: bisexual; perianth parts 5--15 mm, widely ovate, obtuse, outer very short-clawed, inner clawed 2--3 mm, gland distal margin evident, dentate; stamens +- 1/2 perianth; styles erect to +- spreading. Fruit: 10--35 mm, cylindric. Chromosomes: n=11.
Ecology: Grassy or wooded slopes, outcrops; Elevation: < 1000 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, c SNF (just w of Chinese Camp, Tuolumne Co.), ScV, CW, SW; Distribution Outside California: Oregon, northern Baja California. Flowering Time: Feb--Jun
Synonyms: Zigadenus fremontii (Torr.) S. Watson; Zigadenus fremontii var. inezianus Jeps.; Zigadenus fremontii var. minor (Hook. & Arn.) Jeps.; Zigadenus fremontii var. salsus Jeps.
Jepson eFlora Author: Dale W. McNeal & Wendy B. Zomlefer
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Toxicoscordion fontanum
Next taxon: Toxicoscordion micranthum

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Jepson Video for Toxicoscordion fremontii

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Botanical illustration including Toxicoscordion fremontii

botanical illustration including Toxicoscordion fremontii

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Citation for this treatment: Dale W. McNeal & Wendy B. Zomlefer 2012, Toxicoscordion fremontii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 15, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on April 15, 2024.

Toxicoscordion fremontii
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©2021 Barry Rice
Toxicoscordion fremontii
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©2018 Keir Morse
Toxicoscordion fremontii
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©2004 California Academy of Sciences
Toxicoscordion fremontii
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©2018 Keir Morse
Toxicoscordion fremontii
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©2008 Neal Kramer

More photos of Toxicoscordion fremontii
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Geographic subdivisions for Toxicoscordion fremontii:
NW, c SNF (just w of Chinese Camp, Tuolumne Co.), ScV, CW, SW
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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).