Jepson eFlora: Key page
Vascular Plants of California
Key to families | Table of families and genera

Key to Plagiobothrys

View taxon page for Plagiobothrys

(For a list of species in Plagiobothrys, use the above link.)

Jepson Manual glossary definitions can be seen by moving your cursor over words underlined with dots.

1. Nutlet  on top of ± 0.5 mm angled narrow stalk ..... P. collinus

2. Plant stem 0.2–0.8 dm, inflorescence ± among leaves ..... var. ursinus

2' Plant not cespitose; stem 1–4 dm, ± ; inflorescence exceeding leaves

3. Corolla limb 4–8 mm diam; stem hairs generally ± fine, soft ..... var. californicus

3' Corolla limb 1–2 mm diam; stem hairs generally coarse, rough

4. Nutlets 1.5–2 mm;  , 3–5 mm wide ..... var. fulvescens

4' Nutlets 1–1.5 mm; leaf , 2–2.5 mm wide ..... var. gracilis

1' Nutlet scar ± , not on narrow stalk, or on short, ±  peg

5. Lower cauline leaves , occasionally crowded, occasionally ± , upper alternate; basal  present or 0; plant taprooted

6. Calyx generally  generally curved over fruit; stem, abaxial leaf midveins, margins ± red, staining

7. Bracts 0–few, near base of inflorescence; corolla limb (3)4–9 mm diam; nutlet ± arched ..... P. nothofulvus

7' Bracts few–many, ± throughout inflorescence; corolla limb 2–3 mm diam; nutlet generally arched or folded

8. Nutlets generally 1–2, strongly attached; calyx ± 3 mm, circumscissile in fruit, lobes curved over fruit, dense-spreading-hairy ..... P. arizonicus

8' Nutlets generally (2)3–4, weakly attached; calyx 3–5 mm, generally not circumscissile in fruit, lobes erect to occasionally curved over fruit, ± appressed-hairy ..... P. canescens var. catalinensis (2)

6' Calyx generally not circumscissile, lobes generally erect to ± ; stem, abaxial leaf midveins, margins green or ± red, staining or not

9. Nutlet scar deep-concave, pit-like

10. Bracts 0–few, near base of inflorescence; basal rosette persistent; stem, abaxial leaf midveins, green, not staining; calyx hairs brown ..... P. fulvus var. campestris

10' Bracts many, throughout inflorescence; basal rosette short-lived, withered by flowering; stem, abaxial leaf midveins, ± red, staining; calyx hairs tawny to ± white ..... P. infectivus

9' Nutlet scar convex (to shallow-concave)

11. Nutlet interspaces between cross-ribs generally wide, flat ..... P. canescens

12. Lower stem, abaxial leaf midveins ± green, not staining ..... var. canescens

12' Lower stem, abaxial leaf midveins ± red, staining ..... var. catalinensis (2)

11' Nutlet interspaces between cross-ribs generally narrow, groove-like, sometimes obscure

13. Nutlet ± cross-shaped

14. Inflorescence ± not coiled toward tip, not elongate in fruit; calyx 5–7 mm; nutlet 2–3 mm; flowers generally < 10 per branch ..... P. shastensis

14' Inflorescence ± strongly coiled toward tip, elongate in fruit; calyx 3–4(5) mm; nutlet 1–2 mm; flowers generally > 10 per branch ..... P. tenellus

13' Nutlet ± 

15. Calyx hairs minutely hooked at tip; nutlet 1–1.3 mm ..... P. uncinatus

15' Calyx hairs not hooked at tip; nutlet 1.5–2.2 mm

16. Nutlet irregularly , tubercled, cross-ribs 0; se SnFrB (Mount Hamilton Range) ..... P. verrucosus

16' Nutlet not papillate or regularly papillate, cross-ribs prominent; c&s SN, SNH, Teh, SnBr ..... P. torreyi

17. Nutlet abaxially with ± rows of round, translucent papillae, cross-ribs rounded; nutlet strongly arched, base pointed ..... var. perplexans

17' Nutlet abaxially ± without papillae, cross-ribs flat; nutlet ± not arched, base rounded

18. Stem  to ; cauline leaves, bracts many, crowded, ovate to  ..... var. diffusus

18' Stem ± erect; cauline leaves, bracts ± few, scattered, ±  ..... var. torreyi

5' Lower cauline leaves opposite, upper generally alternate; basal rosette 0; plant fibrous-rooted, becoming taprooted

19. Perennial herb; stem stout; stem, leaf long-soft-spreading-hairy ..... P. mollis

20. Nutlet gray, cross-ribs irregular; se CaRH, ne SNH, MP (except Wrn) ..... var. mollis

20' Nutlet brown, cross-ribs netted; n SnFrB (near Petaluma, s Sonoma Co.) ..... var. vestitus

19' Annual; stem slender; stem, leaf hairs not simultaneously long, soft, spreading

21. Flowers generally present near stem base; calyx  midvein thickened; stem prostrate

22. Nutlet lance-ovate, dull, attached ± weakly; scar < 20% fruit length, bordered by generally low ridge, funnel-like collar generally 0; lower leaves 3–8 cm ..... P. humistratus

22' Nutlet wide-ovate to , shiny, attached strongly; scar 20–35% fruit length, generally bordered by funnel-like collar; lower leaves 1–2 cm ..... P. scriptus

21' Flowers generally 0 near stem base; calyx lobe midvein occasionally thickened; stem prostrate to erect

23. Nutlet scar 25–60% fruit length, ± deep-concave

24. Nutlet abaxially with large prickles, barb-tipped or not, or rarely ± without

25. Nutlet abaxial cross-ribs prominent, creating irregular net-like pattern ..... P. acanthocarpus

25' Nutlet abaxial cross-ribs 0 to obscure, net-like pattern 0

26. Nutlet shiny; prickles (0)few, on ridges abaxially ..... P. austiniae

26' Nutlet ± dull; prickles many, throughout abaxially

27. Nutlet 1.5–3 mm, prickles long, slender, not conic, ± barb-tipped, ± 0 adaxially; scar triangular ..... P. greenei

27' Nutlet 1–1.5 mm, prickles short, stout, conic, blunt-tipped, present adaxially; scar narrow-triangular ..... P. hystriculus

24' Nutlet abaxially generally without large prickles, without barb-tipped projections (minute-bristled)

28. Nutlet scar generally linear, wider near base or not; stem, leaves ± glabrous ..... P. strictus

28' Nutlet scar ± pear-shaped or ± triangular; stem, leaves 

29. Nutlet scar < 25% fruit length, concave, flanked by indistinct  roughness ..... P. trachycarpus (2)

29' Nutlet scar 40–60% fruit length, pit-like, flanked by prominent, crowded wrinkles

30. Calyx lobes ± not longer in fruit; stem prostrate to decumbent; lower leaves 0.5–2.5 cm; corolla limb 1–1.5 mm diam, appendages white; nutlet ± 1 mm, cross-ribs wide, crowded, scar ± pear-shaped ..... P. distantiflorus

30' Calyx lobes longer in fruit; stem ascending to erect; lower leaves 4–8 cm; corolla limb > 2 mm diam, appendages yellow; nutlet 1.5–2 mm, cross-ribs narrow, not crowded, scar ± triangular ..... P. glyptocarpus

31. Corolla limb 5–9 mm diam ..... var. glyptocarpus

31' Corolla limb 2–3 mm diam ..... var. modestus

23' Nutlet scar < 20% fruit length, generally ± flat or ± concave (deep-concave in Plagiobothrys diffusus)

32. Nutlet scar basal, generally on short peg; calyx lobe midvein ± stout

33. Stem prostrate to decumbent; calyx lobes generally bent, ± same direction, generally upward; nutlet lanceolate ..... P. leptocladus

33' Stem ascending to erect; calyx lobes ± bent or straight, erect to ± spreading; nutlet lance-ovate

34. Calyx base fleshy, lobes oblong to spoon-shaped;  thick, hollow; nutlet adaxially fine- to obscure-granular to smooth, margins with conspicuous,  border ..... P. glaber

34' Calyx base not fleshy, lobes linear to lanceolate; pedicel slender, generally solid; nutlet adaxially coarse-grainy, margins with obscure, not entire border ..... P. stipitatus

35. Corolla limb 2–4 mm diam ..... var. micranthus

35' Corolla limb 5–12 mm diam ..... var. stipitatus

32' Nutlet scar near base or , not on short peg; calyx lobe midvein generally slender

36. Nutlet scar ± linear, slit- or ridge-like

37. Nutlet ± not tubercled, shiny, 1.8–2.5 mm, abaxial cross-ribs 0; corolla limb 2–4 mm diam ..... P. lithocaryus

37' Nutlet ± tubercled, dull, 0.8–2 mm, abaxial cross-ribs few–many; corolla limb generally <= 2 mm or > 5 mm diam

38. Corolla limb 1.5–2 mm diam; pedicel generally 0–1 mm; nutlet abaxially generally ± flat, interspaces narrower than or as wide as cross-ribs ..... P. undulatus

38' Corolla limb 5–10 mm diam; pedicel generally 2–15(30) mm; nutlet abaxially convex, interspaces wider than cross-ribs ..... P. chorisianus

39. Leaves of lower pair generally fused at base, ± sheathing stem; stem erect to decumbent, branched from upper axils; corolla limb 6–10 mm diam;  generally > calyx ..... var. chorisianus

39' Leaves of lower pair generally ± not fused at base, not or ± sheathing stem; stem prostrate, branched from lower axils; corolla limb 5–7 mm diam; pedicels generally < calyx ..... var. hickmanii

36' Nutlet scar oblong to triangular or elliptic to ovate, not slit- or ridge-like

40. Stem hairs spreading

41. Bracts few, near inflorescence base; pedicels 1–3+ mm, slender; calyx ± deciduous; nutlet cross-ribs prominent, scar near base, ± oblong to occasionally narrow-triangular, generally sunken in groove ..... P. parishii

41' Bracts ± many, throughout inflorescence; pedicels 0–1 mm, stout; calyx persistent; nutlet cross-ribs low, scar generally oblique, ± ovate, not sunken in groove ..... P. salsus

40' Stem hairs 

42. Nutlet scar generally oblique at base

43. Nutlet adaxial ridge, or at least lower part, sunken in groove ..... P. reticulatus

44. Nutlet ± ovate; adaxial ridge in wide, well-defined groove; trough around scar generally wide, distinct; abaxial cross-ribs generally irregularly net-like, interspace tubercles generally sparse or small ..... var. reticulatus

44' Nutlet ± oblong-ovate; adaxial ridge in narrow, poorly defined groove; trough around scar generally narrow, ± obscure; abaxial cross-ribs ± few, prominent, scattered, irregular, interspace tubercles generally dense or large ..... var. rossianorum

43' Nutlet adaxial ridge not sunken

45. Bracts 0–few, near inflorescence base; calyx base ± 4- ridged in fruit; corolla limb 3–9 mm diam ..... P. tener var. tener (2)

45' Bracts many, ± throughout inflorescence (except bracts below inflorescence middle in Plagiobothrys bracteatus); calyx base not ridged in fruit; corolla limb 1–3 mm diam

46. Nutlet wide-ovate, ± symmetric ..... P. bracteatus

46' Nutlet ± oblong-ovate,  ..... P. cognatus

42' Nutlet scar generally above base

47. Nutlet scar narrow-elliptic to obovate; corolla limb 1–2 mm diam

48. Nutlet plump, ± symmetric, sharp-roughened, often also minute-bristled or scabrous, dull; adaxial ridge at ± middle, generally not folded over to 1 side ..... P. hispidulus

48' Nutlet ± flat, asymmetric, smooth to rounded-roughened, rarely bristled or scabrous, shiny; adaxial ridge beyond middle, ± folded over to 1 side below

49. Nutlet wrinkled, tubercled; s NCoRI, CaRH, n&c SNH, sw ScV, GB ..... P. cusickii

49' Nutlet not wrinkled, not tubercled; SNE (Deep Springs Lake, ne Inyo Co.) ..... P. nitens

47' Nutlet scar ± ovate to triangular; corolla limb 1.5–9 mm diam

50. Bracts many, ± throughout inflorescence; calyx base not ridged in fruit; corolla limb 1.5–5 mm diam

51. Nutlet scar, adjacent ridge in deep trough ..... P. diffusus

51' Nutlet scar, adjacent ridge not in trough ..... P. trachycarpus (2)

50' Bracts 0–few, near base of inflorescence; calyx base ± 4-ridged in fruit; corolla limb 3–9 mm diam ..... P. tener

52. Plant fleshy; stem, leaf ± glabrous, glaucous; calyx appressed to stem, lobes erect in fruit; generally on serpentine; NCoRI (Lake, n Napa cos.) ..... var. subglaber

52' Plant not fleshy; stem, leaf sparse-hairy, not glaucous; calyx ± spreading from stem, lobes ascending to ± spreading in fruit; generally not serpentine; NCoR, CaR, w MP ..... var. tener (2)


Please use this Google Form for Contact/Feedback

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) . Jepson eFlora, [accessed on ]

Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on .

We encourage links to these pages, but the content may not be downloaded for reposting, repackaging, redistributing, or sale in any form, without written permission from The Jepson Herbarium.