Limonium californicum

(Boissier) A. Heller

Cat. N. Amer. Pl., 6. 1898.

Common names: Marsh rosemary
Basionym: Statice californica Boissier in A. P. de Candolle and A. L. P. P. de Candolle, Prodr. 12: 643. 1848
Synonyms: Limonium californicum var. mexicanum (S. F. Blake) Munz Limonium commune var. californicum (Boissier) Greene Limonium mexicanum
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 5. Treatment on page 608. Mentioned on page 607.

Leaves all in basal rosettes, living at anthesis, 10–30 × 1–6 cm; petiole often very narrowly winged, 0.1–12 cm, usually shorter than blade; blade spatulate to oblanceolate or obovate, 7–20 × 1–6 cm, leathery, base gradually tapered and long-decurrent, margins entire to undulate, apex obtuse or rounded, sometimes retuse, rarely cuspidate, if so, cusp less than 0.5 mm; main lateral veins strongly ascending, obscurely pinnate. Inflorescences: axes not winged, 15–60 cm × 2–5 mm, glabrous; nonflowering branches absent; spikelets moderately to densely aggregated, internodes 1–2 mm; subtending bracts 3–6 mm, apex usually acute or apiculate, surfaces and margins glabrous; flowers 1–2 per spikelet. Flowers: calyx whitish distally, with brownish ribs, obconic, ribs glabrous or pilose; tube 4–6 mm; lobes erect at maturity, triangular, ca. 1 mm; petals lavender to whitish, only slightly exceeding calyx. Utricles not seen. 2n = 18.

Phenology: Flowering Jul–Dec.
Habitat: Coastal strand, salt marshes, sand hills, beaches, bays, alkaline flats
Elevation: 0-50(-600) m


V5 1236-distribution-map.gif

Calif., Nev., Oreg., Mexico (Baja California).


Limonium mexicanum (or L. californicum var. mexicanum) has been distinguished on the basis of having glabrous calyces. Plants with glabrous (or nearly glabrous) calyces occur throughout the species range, from Humboldt to San Diego counties, and so the character state seems of dubious taxonomic significance. The two variants seem otherwise indistinguishable.

The sole collection seen from Nevada (Fosberg 14278, UC) was collected at the highest elevation known for the species, on dried alkaline mud flats. J. Morefield (pers. comm.) reported that it has been established in southern Nevada since at least 1898, and so may be native there. Morefield also reported a collection from the Salt River drainage, Gila County, Arizona, but I have not seen that specimen.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

... more about "Limonium californicum"
Alan R. Smith +
(Boissier) A. Heller +
Statice californica +
Marsh rosemary +
Calif. +, Nev. +, Oreg. +  and Mexico (Baja California). +
0-50(-600) m +
Coastal strand, salt marshes, sand hills, beaches, bays, alkaline flats +
Flowering Jul–Dec. +
Cat. N. Amer. Pl., +
Limonium californicum var. mexicanum +, Limonium commune var. californicum +  and Limonium mexicanum +
Limonium californicum +
Limonium +
species +