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SPHAERALCEA : A DIFFICULT GENUS WITH WEAK DISTINCTIONS ~40 species worldwide ● 15 species in Intermountain Region Need to add “S.” before names; ensure that symbols come across; Italicize scientific names; consistently omit authors Species in Utah 4 species fairly widespread S. coccinea
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ensure that symbols come across;
Italicize scientific names;
consistently omit authors
Racemose: 1(2,3) flowers/node, all attached directly to main stemInflorescence
Leaves densely pubescent, relatively thick, margins weakly crenulate - S. parvifolia
Leaves moderately pubescent (greenish), relatively thin, margins coarsely and irregularly crenulate
- S. munroana
Leaves deeply lobed
Inflorescence thyrsoid or paniculate with 2+ flowers/node; mericarps higher than wide
– S. grossulariifolia
Inflorescence racemose with 1(2,3) flowers/node; mericarps nearly as high as wide – S. coccineaKey to Common Species
Leaves cauline; petiole 1.5-4(6)cm; blade thickish, about as wide as long, deltate-ovate to suborbicular, sometimes shallowly 3-5 lobed, palmately veined, veins prominent beneath, slightly channeled above.
Inflorescence relatively narrowly thyrsoid-glomerate; pedicels 2-10 mm, ascending; calyx 5-8(9) mm, lobes ovate, obtuse, densely pubescent; petals 2-10 mm, orange-red; staminal column 3-5.5 mm, glabrous, anthers apical; styles capitate.
Schizocarp of about 10 mericarps forming a ring 4-5.5 mm in diameter; mericarps 2-seeded, 2.8-4 mm high, 2-2.3 mm wide, pubescent on back and margins. Seeds 1.7-2 mm long, reniform, dark brown to black, patches of minute hairs.
Washes, roadsides, and among greasewood, blackbrush, sagebrush and juniper communities. 750-2450 m. Southern and lower elevation counterpart to S. munroana. The confluent leaf blades seem to be diagnostic for most specimens of this species.
Leaves cauline; petiole 1.5-4.5(5.5)cm; blade thin, about as wide as long, deltate-ovate, often moderately 3-5 lobed, lobes rounded or obtuse, palmately veined, veins not as prominent beneath.
Inflorescence relatively narrowly thyrsoid-glomerate; pedicels stout, shorter than the calyx; calyx 4.7-7 mm, lobes ovate, acute, densely pubescent; petals 8-14(18) mm, grenadine; staminal column 4.5-5.7 mm, glabrous to sparsely pubescent, anthers apical; styles capitate.
Schizocarps of 10-12 mericarps forming a ring 4-5.2 mm in diameter; mericarps 1(2)-seeded, 2-3 mm high, 1.8-2.5 mm wide, apically pubescent on back and margins. Seeds about 1.7 mm long, reniform, dark brown, minutely pubescent.
Deserts, valleys and foothills among rabbitbrush and sagebrush communities. 640-2400 m. Difficult to distinguish from S. parviflora. S. munroana var. subrhomboidea has 3 distinct lobes reaching almost halfway to the base is found along the Wasatch and Oquirrh Mts. and North into Southern Idaho.
Leaves cauline; petiole (1)1.5-5(7)cm; blade more or less thin, about as wide as long, deltate or broadly ovate in outline, 3-5 lobed sometime appearing 3-foliate, lobes with deeply cleft lateral lobes, lateral lobes asymmetrical, >10 mm wide, palmately veined, veins prominent beneath.
Inflorescence relatively narrowly thyrsoid-glomerate; pedicels stout, shorter than the calyx, sometimes longer at the lower nodes; calyx 5-11 mm, lobes ovate to lanceolate, acute; petals 11-22 mm, grenadine; staminal column 4-6 mm, glabrous or stellate pubescent, anthers apical; styles capitate.
Schizocarp of 10-12 mericarps forming a ring 4.5-6.5 mm in diameter; mericarps 1(2)-seeded, 2.5-3.5(4) mm high, 2-3 mm wide, pubescent on dorsal and apical surfaces. Seeds about 2 mm long, reniform, dark brown, minutely puberulent.
Deserts, valleys and foothills among blackbrush, greasewood, shadscale, rabbitbrush and sagebrush vegetation. 800-2300 m. A complex species with great variation in the dissection of the leaves. Much of the variation likely comes from introgression with other species. It appears to be less common in the Southern portions of its range.
Leaves cauline; petiole 1-2.5(4)cm; blade, wider than long, broadly ovate to orbicular in outline, pedately 3-foliate, lower lateral lobes deeply divided, lower segments imparting a 5-foliate appearance, mid lobe ternate to pinnatifid.
Inflorescence: lower flowers solitary in leaf axils and a bracteate raceme above with 1 flower per node, barely elongating in fruit; pedicels 2-10 mm, relatively stout at maturity, ascending; calyx (5)6-9.5 mm, lobes triangular-ovate, acute; petals 10-16(20) mm, deep orange to reddish-orange; staminal column 3-5 mm, sparsely stellate pubescent, anthers apical; styles capitate.
Schizocarp of 10-14 mericarps forming a ring 4.8-6.7 mm in diameter; mericarps 1(2)-seeded, 2-2.6(4) mm high, 2.4-3 mm wide, rounded dorsally, densely pubescent on dorsally. Seeds about 2 mm long, reniform, dark brown to black.
Sandy and gravelly soils in greasewood, shadscale, sagebrush, pinyon-juniper and Gambel oak communities. (1000)1375-2750 m. The somewhat smaller stature, branched caudex with running roots, dense pubescence on the leaves, and simple raceme inflorescence help distinguish this species from S. grossulariifolia.