London Edinburgh Philos. Mag. & J. Sci. 3: 71. 1833.
Plants 3–35(–100) cm. Stems erect or ascending. Leaves 3–7(–25 cm); leaflets 5–13, blade linear, ovate, or wide-ovate, margins usually toothed or lobed, sometimes entire. Flowers cup-, bell-, or funnel-shaped; sepals narrowly lanceolate-ovate, lanceolate, or linear-lanceolate, 4–10 mm (glabrous or ciliate); petals white, yellow, or yellow with white tips (sometimes greenish yellow basally), cuneate, obovate, spatulate, or obovate-spatulate, 7–18 mm, apex usually emarginate, sometimes truncate or obcordate; filaments 2–7 mm; anthers usually cream or yellow, sometimes dark pink, orange-red, or nearly black, 0.8–1.5 mm; style 3–8 mm. Nutlets dark brown, black, or gray, 2–5 mm, smooth, ridged, or tuberculate (at least apically), tubercles or ridges brown, pinkish, gray, or whitish, lamellar, planar, conical, rounded, or blunt.
Subspecies 5 (5 in the flora).
Limnanthes douglasii has five subspecies with core distributions as follows: subsp. sulphurea with two populations near the coast in Marin County and in southwestern San Mateo County; subsp. douglasii primarily coastal and Outer Coast Ranges with outlying populations in the northern Sierra Nevada foothills; subsp. nivea primarily Inner Coast Ranges and Bay Area with Central Valley and northern Sierra Nevada foothills populations; subsp. rosea in the Inner Coast Ranges, Central Valley, and Sierra Nevada foothills; and subsp. striata in the central Sierra Nevada foothills with outlying populations in Trinity County.
|1||Flowers funnel-shaped; petals white with greenish yellow bases (veins usually dark); anthers usually cream, rarely dark.||Limnanthes douglasii subsp. striata|
|1||Flowers cup- or bell-shaped; petals yellow and/or white (veins rose, white, yellow, or purplish, not dark); anthers cream, yellow, dark pink, orange-red, reddish brown, or nearly black||> 2|
|2||Petals yellow or yellow with white tips||> 3|
|2||Petals white (sometimes aging or drying pale pink or yellowish)||> 4|
|3||Petals yellow with white tips; anthers cream, yellow, or reddish brown.||Limnanthes douglasii subsp. douglasii|
|3||Petals yellow; anthers yellow.||Limnanthes douglasii subsp. sulphurea|
|4||Petals 7-13 mm (veins white or purplish); anthers cream to yellow; sepals 4-7 mm.||Limnanthes douglasii subsp. nivea|
|4||Petals 12-18 mm (veins rose); anthers cream, yellow, dark pink, orange-red, or nearly black; sepals 7-8 mm.||Limnanthes douglasii subsp. rosea|