Sunday, March 7, 2010

Fremont's star-lily ~ 03/07/10 ~ Wilder Ranch

Fremont's star-lily / Fremont's death camas
Toxicoscordion fremontii (formerly Zigadenus fremontii)
Melanthiaceae (formerly Liliaceae)

I wanted to call this Fremont's star lily, but now that I've looked into it some, I can't be sure of the species. Anyone have any suggestions for positive ID? It's also called death camas, because the leaves and bulbs are apparently toxic to humans and livestock. And, it was everywhere along our hike at Wilder Ranch.

ps 03/10/11 & edited 07/26/11 - I'm finally getting around to posting a firm ID and correcting the changes in genus and family names. I think I originally had this posted as a generic Zigadenus sp. I have to say I'm not 100% positive about this or any of my Fremont's star-lily posts. I'm not a botanist and don't generally key out, so I compare lots of pictures. There seems to be just as much variation within species as there is between species. Thanks to NatureShutterbug for explaining the relative lengths of stamens and perianth are key to a few. Here's a list of Toxicoscordion found in CA with embedded links and my made-up notes:

desert death camas (T. brevibracteatum
- south/desert, yellowish-green, flowers sparse and spread out, nothing else looks like this

giant death camas (T. exaltatum)
- scattered/Sierra Nevada foothills, flowers spread out all along stalk, or large individual flowers

marsh zigadene (T. fontanum) used to be Z. micranthus var. fontanus
- *coast ranges, stamens ± = perianth, flowers spread out, taller than T. micranthum

Fremont's death camas (T. fremontii)
- *western 1/3 of CA,
stamens ± 1/2 perianth, variable, often with small unbloomed cone hat

smallflower death camas (T. micranthum) use to be
Z. micranthus var. micranthus
- north coast ranges, stamens ± = perianth, flowers loose, shorter than T. fontanum

panicled death camas (T. paniculatum)
- north, each branch has a bunch of flowers, often ragged edged petals

meadow death camas (T. venenosum)
*north/coast/Sierra Nevadas, stamens = or > perianth, often with long unbloomed cone hat

* Found in areas I'd likely hike from home, south of San Francisco to Big Sur and inland to Pinnacles.

No comments: