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Key to Senega

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1 Leaves basally disposed (with basal rosette, this sometimes withering by anthesis or later) and also alternate stem leaves; leaves fleshy (when fresh); fresh flowers orange, yellow, greenish-yellow, or greenish white (if greenish white, then the inflorescence a terminal many-branched corymb); pedicels winged; [section Decurrentes].
  2 Inflorescence a dense pom-pom-like raceme, each raceme solitary and terminating a leafy stem.
    3 Fresh flowers green, greenish yellow, or lemon-yellow; subulate bracts of the inflorescence 4.5-6.5 mm long; plants 2-10 (-15) cm tall; lobes of lower petal (keel) 1.5-2.5 mm long.
      4 Flowers bright yellow or yellowish-green; plants 3-18 cm tall; inflorescence typically surpassing the leaves; leaves oblanceolate to obovate (rarely elliptic); wing sepal tips 0.7-1.6 mm long, the apices involute; [mesic to scrubby flatwoods and similar open, wet habitats; widespread in se. US]
      4 Flowers green or greenish-yellow; plants 2-5 (-8) cm tall; inflorescence almost always surpassed by the leaves; leaves narrowly oblanceolate to linear-oblanceolate; wing sepal tips 0.5-0.9 mm long, flat to slightly involute; [scrub, scrubby flatwoods, and rocklands; endemic to FL peninsula]
    3 Fresh flowers bright orange or bright yellow; subulate bracts of the inflorescence 2-4 mm long; plants 5-80 cm tall; lobes of lower petal (keel) 0.5-1.1 mm long.
        5 Racemes (8-) 12-20 mm in diameter; flowers bright orange (rarely individual plants within a population with bright yellow flowers); plants 5-40 cm tall; [more widespread]
        5 Racemes 18-25 mm in diameter; flowers bright yellow; plants 30-80 cm tall; [peninsular FL]
  2 Inflorescence a terminal, many-branched corymb made up of component racemes, the many individual branches of the corymb loosely to densely flowered and lacking well-developed leaves.
          6 Fresh flowers cream-white to greenish-white; [of GA southward].
             7 Inflorescence of dense racemes; wing sepals white (drying darker), 0.9-1.4 mm wide, the apical cusp 0.6-0.8 mm long; seeds < 0.6 mm long; aril of seeds usually ca. 0.2 mm long; [Coastal Plain, FL and GA west to TX]
             7 Inflorescence of elongated racemes; wing sepals cream to greenish-white (drying darker), 1.5-1.7 mm wide, the apical cusp 0.3-0.5 mm long; seeds usually 0.6-0.7 mm long; aril of seeds a minute scale or absent; [s. FL]
          6 Fresh flowers bright yellow; [collectively widespread in the Coastal Plain of our region].
               8 Plants 4.5-12 dm tall, the stem solitary; basal leaves 3.5-14 cm long, linear-lanceolate, about 15-20× as long as wide, persistent as a basal rosette; stem leaves linear-subulate, sharp-tipped, much reduced from the basal leaves, becoming bractlike upward; seeds glabrous, 0.7-0.9 mm long
               8 Plants 1-4 dm tall, the stems 1-several from the base; basal leaves 3-7 cm long, spatulate, about 10× as long as wide, usually not persistent after flowering; stem leaves narrowly spatulate to linear, blunt-tipped, only slightly reduced from the basal leaves; seeds pubescent, 0.5-0.7 mm long
1 Leaves on the stem, whorled, alternate, and/or opposite; leaves membranous or herbaceous, not fleshy; fresh flowers pink, purple, white, or green (if green or white, then the inflorescence a simple raceme, not a many-branched corymb); pedicels terete (not winged).
                 9 Leaves whorled, at least at the principal lower nodes (the upper stem leaves alternate, whorled, and/or opposite; plants annual.
                   10 Racemes 3-8 mm in diameter, pointed in outline; flowers sessile to pedicellate with pedicels < 1 mm long; [section Verticillatae].
                     11 Sepals, wing sepals, and keels pubescent; flowers white; [OK and TX westwards]
                     11 Sepals, wing sepals, and keels glabrous; flowers variously colored, sometimes whitish but usually pink or purple; [collectively widespread].
                       12 Wing sepals 2-3 mm long; plant perennial, usually multistemmed from the base and little or not branched above; racemes 30-240 mm long.
                          13 Lowermost leaves elliptic to suborbicular; branches ascending to erect; [s. FL north and west to GA, TN, MS, and w. LA]
                          13 Lowermost leaves linear to linear-lanceolate; branches decumbent to spreading; [s. FL]
                       12 Wing sepals 1-1.75 mm long; plant annual, unbranched or freely branched above.
                            14 Internodes > 5 cm long, the whorls very distant from one another; seeds glabrous or nearly so; seeds fusiform
                            14 Internodes (most, at least) < 4 cm long; seeds pubescent; seeds ovoid to narrowly ovoid.
                              15 Racemes 2-5 cm long, becoming interrupted below through persistence of the fruits on the axis; wing sepals equaling the fruit
                              15 Racemes 0.5-1.5 cm long, the fruits falling promptly, thus the inflorescence compact and truncate below; wing sepals shorter than the fruit.
                                16 Seeds hirsute; pedicels 1/3-1/2 as long as the fruit; raceme peduncles 2-7 cm long
                                16 Seeds finely pubescent; pedicels 1/4-1/3 as long as the fruit; raceme peduncles 0.5-4 cm long
                   10 Racemes 7-20 mm in diameter, rounded in outline (somewhat rounded to somewhat pointed in P. hookeri); flowers pedicellate; [section Cruciatae].
                                  17 Racemes loosely flowered, with ca. 10 flowers per cm of length; raceme 7-12 mm in diameter, the tip pointed (obconical) in outline; full raceme (including the portion with dropped fruits) to 6 cm long
                                  17 Racemes densely flowered, with ca. 20 flowers per cm of length; raceme 7-20 mm in diameter, the tip rounded to truncate in outline; full raceme (including the portion with dropped fruits) to 4.5 cm long.
                                    18 Bracts of the inflorescence ca. 1 mm long; wing sepals 1.5-2.5 mm wide, acute or short-mucronate at the tip; raceme peduncle (0.8-) 3-5 cm long
                                    18 Bracts of the inflorescence 1.5-3 mm long; wing sepals 3-4 mm wide, acuminate, the tips cuspidate; raceme peduncle 0-0.8 (-4) cm long.
                                       19 Peduncle + axis length (10-) avg. 16 (-23) mm (in late flower or fruit); raceme (8.5-) avg. 9.9 (-12) mm wide
                                       19 Peduncle + axis length (11-) avg. 35 (-96) mm (in late flower or fruit); raceme (10-) avg. 12 (-15) mm wide
                 9 Leaves alternate (occasionally proximal leaves subopposite when scale-like); plants annual, biennial, or perennial.
                                         20 Leaves consistently linear to subfiliform throughout.
                                           21 Leaves and stems glaucous; corolla 7-10 mm long, > 2× as long as the wing sepals, ascendant and conspicuously exerted past the wings; [section Incarnatae]
                                           21 Leaves and stems not glaucous; corolla 1.6-2.2 mm long, about as long as (and not exserted past) the wing sepals, variously oriented but usually not only ascendant; [section Tenues]
                                         20 Leaves usually broader than linear (sometimes linear distally and narrowly oblanceolate proximally as in P. nuttallii); corolla < 5 mm long, roughly equal to or shorter than the wing sepals.
                                             22 Leaves reduced to subulate scales < 2 mm long; [e. GA west to FL Panhandle, south to s. FL]; [section Incarnatae]
                                             22 Leaves (at least the larger) > 2 mm long, not subulate; [collectively widespread].
                                               23 Perennial or biennial, usually several stems arising together from a rhizome or taproot.
                                                 24 Wing sepals white, 2-3 mm long; flowers sessile or subsessile; plants from a thick crown; [mainly inland provinces, very rarely Coastal plain]; [section Senega].
                                                    25 Larger leaves mostly 2-15 mm wide; capsules 2.5-3.5 mm long; seeds ca. 2.5 mm long
                                                    25 Larger leaves mostly 15-35 mm wide; capsules 3.5-4.2 mm long; seeds 3.0-3.5 mm long
                                                 24 Wing sepals pink, 4-7 mm long; flowers pedicelled; plants from a taproot; [collectively widespread in our region].
                                                      26 Capsule margins crenately winged; leaves primarily 3-8 mm wide; [wet pine savannas and similar wet habitats; Coastal Plain]
                                                      26 Capsule margins entire, not winged; leaves primarily 1-6 mm wide; [sandhills, scrub, and other similarly dry woodland-habitats; collectively widespread in our region].
                                                        27 Capsules 2-3 mm wide, < 2x as long as wide; aril 0.8-2 mm long; leaf blades (8-) 15-30 (-40) mm long; [widespread in e. US]
                                                        27 Capsules 1-1.5 mm wide, 2-3x as long as wide; aril 2-3 mm long; leaf blades 5-15 (-30) mm long; [endemic to sandhills and scrub in c. FL]
                                                          28 Wing sepals 0.8-1.2× as long as the corolla; aril lobes < 1/2× as long as the seed.
                                                              30 Racemes 6-13 mm in diameter; wing sepals 2.5-5 mm long; pedicels 0.7-2.8 mm long.
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