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meadowfoam family

Habit Herbs, annual; glabrous or pubescent (not glandular; producing glucosinolates).




erect, decumbent, or sprawling; unbranched.


alternate, simple or compound;

venation pinnate;

stipules absent;

petiole present;

blade margins entire or pinnately lobed, bipinnate, or ternate.


axillary, flowers solitary;

bracts absent.





sepals not accrescent, lanceolate to lanceolate-ovate, 7.5–8 mm, abaxially and adaxially glabrous;

petals oblong, 7.5–8.5 mm, apex obtuse (not emarginate);

filaments 4.2–4.7 mm;

anthers ± 1 mm, usually dehiscing introrsely;

style 3–3.5 mm.

usually bisexual, usually actinomorphic, rotate;

perianth and androecium hypogynous;

sepals usually persistent, 3 or 5 (4 in Limnanthes macounii), distinct or slightly connate basally, equal or unequal;

petals same number as sepals, convolute in bud, distinct, equal;

nectary glands present;

stamens 3, 6, 8, or 10 (same or twice the number of sepals);

filaments distinct, glabrous;

anthers dehiscing by longitudinal slits, introrse or extrorse, tetrasporangiate, pollen shed in single grains, binucleate, 2–4-aperturate, colpate or colporate;

disc absent;

gynophore absent;

pistil 1;

ovary 2–5-carpellate, syncarpous basally (united by gynobasic style);

placentation basal;

ovules 1 per locule, anatropous, unitegmic;

style 1 (gynobasic);

stigmas (2 or) 3–5 (dry, papillate).


schizocarps (mericarps or nutlets), tuberculate, ridged, smooth, or rugulose.



not arillate;

endosperm absent.


3–5, tubercles broad-based, platelike cones.

Limnanthes floccosa subsp. pumila


Phenology Flowering Mar–May.
Habitat Edges of deep vernal pools on lava flows
Elevation 600 m [2000 ft]

Of conservation concern.

Subspecies pumila is found only on the summits of Upper Table Rock and Lower Table Rock, in Jackson County.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Genera 2, species 8 (8 in the flora).

Placement of Limnanthaceae in Brassicales is supported by molecular and chemical data, especially the presence of mustard oils. Traditionally (A. Cronquist 1981), the family has been associated with the Geraniaceae in the Geraniales because of the similarity of habit and floral structure, especially the fruits that separate into mericarps, as do those in Geraniaceae.

Limnanthaceae are endemic to North America. The greatest diversity is in California, where most of the species of Limnanthes occur. Floerkea, with a single species, occurs widely across the continent; it is barely present in the southeastern United States.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

from FNA
North America
[BONAP county map]
Parent taxa Limnanthaceae > Limnanthes > sect. Inflexae > Limnanthes floccosa
Sibling taxa
L. floccosa subsp. bellingeriana, L. floccosa subsp. californica, L. floccosa subsp. floccosa, L. floccosa subsp. grandiflora
Subordinate taxa
Floerkea, Limnanthes
1.Petals and sepals 3; petals shorter than sepals; stamens 3 or 6.Floerkea
1.Petals and sepals (4 or) 5; petals usually longer than sepals; stamens 8 or 10.Limnanthes
Synonyms L. pumila, L. floccosa var. pumila
Name authority (Howell) Arroyo: Brittonia 25: 187. (1973) R. Brown
Source Flora of North America vol. 7, p. 183. Flora of North America vol. 7, p. 172.
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