Orobanche californica subsp. jepsonii

(Munz) Heckard

Madroño 22: 57. 1973.

Basionym: Orobanche grayana var. jepsonii Munz Bull. Torrey Bot. Club 57: 617, plate 38, fig. 10. 1931
Synonyms: Aphyllon californicum subsp. jepsonii (Munz) A. C. Schneider
Treatment appears in FNA Volume 17. Treatment on page 480. Mentioned on page 478, 481.

Plants simple or branched proximally, (8–)10–35 cm, portion proximal to inflorescence 6–15 cm, slender. Inflorescences racemes, sometimes subcorymbose, 5–20 cm; bracts pallid to pinkish tinged, drying brown. Pedicels 3–20 mm. Calyces (10–)15–24(–27) mm, lobes pallid or pinkish tinged, subulate to linear-subulate, (8–)10–20(–25) mm. Corollas whitish to pinkish distally, often with veins of lips deep rose or purplish, (25–)30–35(–40) mm; tube slender, abruptly widening toward throat; throat 8–10 mm wide at base of lobes; lips 10–12(–15) mm, abaxial lobes usually narrowly lanceolate, 3–5 mm wide, apex acute, adaxial lobes deltate, apex acute, often erosulate or emarginate. 2n = 48.

Phenology: Flowering May–Oct.
Habitat: Bottomlands, dry hillsides.
Elevation: 100–2000 m.


Subspecies jepsonii is distributed primarily in the Central Valley and surrounding mountains from the Cascade Range of Plumas and Shasta counties in the Sierra Nevada to Kern County and the central California Coast Ranges from Santa Cruz to Tehama counties.

The most frequently reported hosts for subsp. jepsonii are Baccharis, Grindelia, and Solidago (Asteraceae). Reports of Eriophyllum are unconfirmed, and reports of non-Asteraceae hosts such as Eriogonum and Rubus are highly unlikely.

Subspecies jepsonii is circumscribed similarly to what Munz described as Orobanche grayana var. jepsonii. It includes foothill and montane plants that resemble subsp. grayana in size and corymbose inflorescence, albeit with a deeper colored corolla and a preference for dry, rocky habitats.

L. R. Heckard (1973) indicated that subsp. jepsonii and subsp. grayana are very similar both geographically and morphologically. The two subspecies are separated by minor differences in plant size, corolla color and shape, and habitat.

Selected References


Lower Taxa

L. Turner Collins +, Alison E. L. Colwell +  and George Yatskievych +
(Munz) Heckard +
Orobanche grayana var. jepsonii +
Calif. +  and Oreg. +
100–2000 m. +
Bottomlands, dry hillsides. +
Flowering May–Oct. +
Aphyllon californicum subsp. jepsonii +
Orobanche californica subsp. jepsonii +
Orobanche californica +
subspecies +