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Key N1: herbaceous dicots with mainly basal, compound leaves

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1 Leaves either 2-3-foliolate or palmately 4-11-foliolate (all the leaflets attached at a common point).
..2 Leaves 2-foliolate; fruit a capsule, opening by a circumscissile lid
..2 Leaves either 3-foliolate or palmately or pedately 4-11-foliolate.
....3 Inflorescence an involucrate head subtended by phyllaries, the heads solitary or many and variously arrayed in secondary inflorescences, the ovary inferior, the corolla connate and tubular at least basally, the calyx absent, the stamens 5, the fruit a cypsela
....3 Inflorescence, flower, and fruit structure various, but not with the combination of features as above.
......4 Inflorescence an umbel; ovary inferior; fruit a mericarp of 2 schizocarps
......4 Inflorescence various, usually not an umbel (sometimes an umbel in Oxalis in OXALIDACEAE); ovary superior; fruit an aggregate, legume, berry, or 2-valved capsule.
........5 Leaflets either entire or barely and very shallowly crenulate or notched at the tip (but otherwise entire).
..........6 Inflorescence a spadix, surrounded by a spathe; fruit a berry; [Monocots {illogically keyed here because of the likelihood of being mistaken for a dicot}]
..........6 Inflorescence a raceme or umbel, not surrounded by a spathe; fruit a capsule or legume; [Eudicots].
............ 7 Flowers bilaterally symmetrical; fruit a legume; [plant of uplands]
............ 7 Flowers radially symmetrical; fruit a 2-valved or 5-valved capsule; [plant of uplands or wetlands]
............ ..8 Leaflets not notched at the tip; flowers white; [plants of saturated saturated or ponded wetlands]
............ ..8 Leaflets notched at the tip; flowers pink, white, or yellow; [plants of uplands or temporarily flooded wetlands]
........5 Leaflets serrate, serrulate, or cleft.
............ ....9 Petals 4; stamens 6; fruit a silique
............ ....9 Petals 5 or more; stamens 10 or more; fruit either a legume or an aggregate of achenes or follicles
............ ......10 Stamens many, fused into a staminal tube; carpels 10-20, in a ring; pubescence stellate (sometimes mixed with simple hairs)
............ ......10 Stamens 10-many, separate, or fused but not all into a staminal tube; carpel either 1 (FABACEAE), or 3-7 in a ring (RANUNCULACEAE), or many and spirally arranged on a conical receptacle (RANUNCULACEAE or ROSACEAE)
............ ........11 Leaflets serrulate; flowers bilaterally symmetrical; fruit a legume; corolla variously colored, including white
............ ........11 Leaflets serrate; flowers radially symmetrical; fruit an aggregate of achenes or of follicles; corolla white or yellowish or greenish.
............ ..........12 Fruit an aggregate of follicles
............ ..........12 Fruit an aggregate of achenes (borne on a fleshy, expanded receptacle in Fragaria and some Potentilla)
............ ............ 13 Flowers lacking a hypanthium
............ ............ 13 Flowers with a hypanthium
1 Leaves 1-pinnately compound (all leaflets attached to a central rachis) or more complexly compound (with several orders of branching, some leaflets at least attached to second-order branches from the rachis).
............ ............ ..14 Leaves 1-pinnately compound (all leaflets attached to a central rachis).
............ ............ ....15 Inflorescence an involucrate head subtended by phyllaries, the heads solitary or many and variously arrayed in secondary inflorescences, the ovary inferior, the corolla connate and tubular at least basally, the calyx absent, the stamens 5, the fruit a cypsela
............ ............ ....15 Inflorescence, flower, and fruit structure various, but not with the combination of features as above.
............ ............ ......16 Flowers bilaterally symmetrical; fruit a legume
............ ............ ......16 Flowers radially symmetrical; fruit a silique/silicle, or a schizocarp of mericarps, or an achene.
............ ............ ........17 Petals 4; stamens 6; fruit a silique/silicle
............ ............ ........17 Petals 0 or 5 (if 0, the sepals petaloid); stamens 2, 4, 5, or many.
............ ............ ..........18 Stamens 5; fruit a schizocarp of 2 mericarps
............ ............ ..........18 Stamens 2, 4, or many; fruit an achene
............ ............ ..14 Leaves more complexly compound (with 2 or more orders of branching, some leaflets at least attached to second-order branches from the rachis).
............ ............ ............ 19 Inflorescence an involucrate head subtended by phyllaries, the heads solitary or many and variously arrayed in secondary inflorescences, the ovary inferior, the corolla connate and tubular at least basally, the calyx absent, the stamens 5, the fruit a cypsela
............ ............ ............ 19 Inflorescence, flower, and fruit structure various, but not with the combination of features as above (sometimes the flowers in a head subtended by bracts, but then with other features differing, such as stamens 4, or green calyx present, or petals separate, or fruit a schizocarp of mericarps, etc.).
............ ............ ............ ..20 Leaf segments or ultimate lobes linear or lanceolate, > 2× as long as wide, < 4 mm wide.
............ ............ ............ ....21 Inflorescence an umbel; ovary inferior; fruit a mericarp of 2 schizocarps
............ ............ ............ ....21 Inflorescence various, but not an umbel; ovary superior; fruit an aggregate of follicles or an elongate capsule.
............ ............ ............ ......22 Carpels 2, fused; fruit an elongate capsule; flowers bilaterally symmetrical
............ ............ ............ ......22 Carpels 5-10 or many, separate; fruit an aggregate; flower radially symmetrical
............ ............ ............ ..20 Leaf segments or ultimate lobes ovate or elliptic, < 3× as long as wide, > 5 mm wide.
............ ............ ............ ........23 Inflorescence an umbel; ovary inferior; fruit a mericarp of 2 schizocarps or a 5-seeded drupe.
............ ............ ............ ........23 Inflorescence various, but not an umbel; fruit an aggregate of follicles or achenes, an elongate capsule, or a naked seed resembling a drupe.
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Leaflets with < 10 ultimate ‘points’ (lobe or tooth terminations), these rounded to broadly acute, often large in comparison to the leaflet and appearing as “sublobes”; pistil 1 or 4-many.
............ ............ ............ ............ ..26 Corolla bilaterally symmetrical; fruit an elongate capsule; [cultivated exotic, rarely persistent near gardens]
............ ............ ............ ............ ..26 Corolla radially symmetrical; fruit an aggregate of follicles or achenes, or a naked seed resembling a drupe; [native plants of moist to dry forests and rock outcrops].
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Leaflets 5-8 cm long, obviously longer than broad; pistil 1; fruit a naked blue seed resembling a drupe; flowers mainly 3-merous
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Leaflets 1-6 cm long, about as long as broad if > 4 cm long; pistils 4-many; fruit an aggregate of follicles or achenes; flowers mainly 4-5-merous
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Leaflets with >11 ultimate ‘points’ (lobe or tooth terminations), these acuminate to acute; pistils 1-8.
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Pubescence of the stem and lower leaf surface glandular; flowers unisexual, on the same plant (monoecious); stamens 10; pistils 2, partly fused; fruit an aggregate of follicles
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Pubescence of the stem and lower leaf surface non-glandular (or absent); flowers either bisexual (the plants hermaphroditic), or unisexual and the male and female flowers on separate plants (the plants dioecious); stamens 15 or more; pistils 1-8, separate; fruit an aggregate of follicles, a follicle, or a red or white berry.
............ ............ ............ ............ ........29 Flowers bisexual (plants hermaphroditic); carpels 1-8 per flower; inflorescence a raceme, or a panicle of racemes with just a few branches; fruit an aggregate of follicles, a follicle, or a red or white berry
............ ............ ............ ............ ........29 Flowers unisexual (plants dioecious); carpels 3-4 per pistillate flower; inflorescence a panicle of racemes, with numerous branches; fruit an aggregate of follicles

Key O: herbaceous dicots with alternate, compound leaves on the stem

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1 Leaves either 3-foliolate or palmately 4-11-foliolate (all the leaflets attached at a common point, or the leaflets slightly pedate in Helleborus foetidus in RANUNCULACEAE).
..2 Inflorescence an involucrate head subtended by phyllaries, the heads solitary or many and variously arrayed in secondary inflorescences, the ovary inferior, the corolla connate and tubular at least basally, the calyx absent, the stamens 5, the fruit a cypsela
..2 Inflorescence, flower, and fruit structure various, but not with the combination of features as above. {add under 2b [Cynosciadium] APIACEAE}
....3 Leaflets obviously and sharply serrate; pistils 1 or 5-many; fruit an achene, or an aggregate of achenes, drupelets, or follicles.
......4 Leaflets 7-11, slightly pedate in their arrangement, evergreen
......4 Leaflets 3-9, palmate, deciduous
........5 Pistil 1; fruit an achene
........5 Pistils 5-many; fruit an aggregate of achenes, drupelets, or follicles
....3 Leaflets entire, finely denticulate, or very obscurely toothed (or irregularly serrate or lobed in Cardamine in BRASSICACEAE); pistil 1; fruit simple, a legume, capsule, silique, or berry.
..........6 Corolla bilaterally symmetrical; petals 5; fruit a legume; carpel 1
..........6 Corolla radially symmetrical; petals 4 or 5; fruit either an elongate capsule or a berry; carpels 1, 2, or 5.
............ 7 Leaflets radially arranged at the summit of the petiole, not differentiated in size or placement into a terminal leaflet and 2 lateral leaflets; leaflets prominently notched at the apex; petals 5, yellow; inflorescence axillary, cymose or umbelliform; carpels 5
............ 7 Leaflets differentiated in size and placement into a terminal leaflet and 2 or more lateral leaflets; leaflets not regularly notched at the apex (a few may be slightly retuse); petals 4, white, pink, or yellow; inflorescence terminal and racemose; carpels 1 or 2.
............ ..8 Carpels 2; fruit a red berry; petals connate, purplish-blue
............ ..8 Carpel 1; fruit a capsule; petals separate, white, pink, or yellow.
............ ....9 Stem leaves 1-3, alternate [or whorled or opposite]; leaflets 3, irregularly serrate, lacerate, or additionally divided or lobed; fruit a silique; carpels 2
............ ....9 Stem leaves >3, alternate; leaflets (1-) 3-7, each entire or obscurely toothed; fruit a capsule; carpel 1
1 Leaves either 1-pinnately compound (all leaflets attached to a central rachis) or more complexly compound (with several orders of branching, some leaflets at least attached to second-order branches from the rachis).
............ ......10 Inflorescence an involucrate head subtended by phyllaries, heads solitary or many, variously arrayed in secondary inflorescences; fruit a cypsela; ovary inferior
............ ......10 Inflorescence various, but not as above; fruit various, not as above; ovary superior.
............ ........11 Leaves 1-pinnately compound (all leaflets attached to a central rachis).
............ ..........12 Flowers bilaterally symmetrical, papilionaceous; fruit a legume; leaves even-pinnately or odd-pinnately compound, the terminal leaflet sometimes replaced by a tendril; leaflets entire or at most minutely denticulate
............ ..........12 Flowers radially symmetrical (or barely bilaterally symmetrical in Erodium in GERANIACEAE); fruit a capsule, capsular but of 5 mericarps, or an aggregate of achenes, nutlets, or follicles (in some cases the # of pistils from many down to 2 or even 1); leaves odd-pinnately compound, never with tendrils; leaflets serrate (or entire to shallowly lobed in Polemonium in POLEMONIACEAE, Cardamine in BRASSICACEAE, and Floerkea in LIMNANTHACEAE).
............ ............ 13 Pistils many (only 1-2 in Agrimonia, Poteridium, Poterium, and Sanguisorba); fruit an aggregate of achenes, nutlets, or follicles; hypanthium present; stamens 5-many (only 4 in Poteridium and Sanguisorba)
............ ............ 13 Pistil 1 (or deeply 2-3-lobed in Floerkea in LIMNANTHACEAE); fruit a silique, capsule, schizocarp of 2-3 mericarps, or a capsular schizocarp of 5 mericarps (Erodium in GERANIACEAE); hypanthium absent; stamens 3-6.
............ ............ ....15 Petals 4, distinct; stamens 6; inflorescence a terminal raceme; fruit a silique/silicle
............ ............ ....15 Petals 5, fused (distinct in Erodium in GERANIACEAE); stamens 5; inflorescence axillary or terminal, cymose, consisting of subcapitate, umbel-like, or helicoid cymes; fruit either a capsule, or a capsular schizocarp of 5 mericarps (Erodium in GERANIACEAE).
............ ............ ......16 Flowers slightly bilaterally symmetrical (2 of the petals of different size than the other 3); fruit a capsular schizocarp of 5 mericarps; carpels 5
............ ............ ......16 Flowers radially symmetrical; fruit either a loculicidal capsule or a berry; carpels 2 or 3.
............ ............ ........17 Fruit a berry; fresh plant rankly fragrant
............ ............ ........17 Fruit a capsule; fresh plant not aromatic.
............ ............ ..........18 Capsule 2-valvate; carpels 2; leaflets prominently serrate or with some tooth-like sublobes
............ ............ ..........18 Capsule 3-valvate; carpels 3; leaflets with entire margins
............ ........11 Leaves more complexly compound (with 2 or more orders of branching, some leaflets at least attached to second-order branches from the rachis).
............ ............ ............ 19 Leaves 2× even-pinnate; flowers in spikes or spherical heads; fruit a legume or loment.
............ ............ ............ 19 Leaves either 2× odd-pinnate or more complexly 2-4× ternately or ternately-pinnately compound; flowers in various inflorescences; fruits various (not legumes or loments).
............ ............ ............ ..20 Leaf segments linear, less than 2 mm wide.
............ ............ ............ ....21 Inflorescence an umbel; ovary inferior, of 2 fused carpels; fruit a schizocarp of 2 mericarps
............ ............ ............ ....21 Inflorescence either a terminal solitary flower or terminal raceme or panicle; ovary superior, either of 2 fused carpels or of 1-5or many distinct 1-carpellate pistils; fruit either a capsule or an aggregate of follicles or achenes.
............ ............ ............ ......22 Ovary of 2 fused carpels; fruit a capsule (1-seeded and indehiscent in Fumaria)
............ ............ ............ ......22 Ovary of 1-5or many distinct 1-carpellate pistils; fruit an aggregate of follicles or achenes
............ ............ ............ ..20 Leaf segments broader, lanceolate, ovate, or elliptic, > 5 mm wide.
............ ............ ............ ........23 Herbaceous vine climbing by axillary tendrils; stamens 8
............ ............ ............ ........23 Erect or sprawling herb; stamens 5-6 or >15.
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Leaflets sharply serrate, with usually many teeth on each leaflet side, the total number of “points” per leaflet > 10.
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Inflorescence an umbel; ovary inferior, of 2 fused carpels; fruit a schizocarp of 2 mericarps; inflorescence an umbel
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Inflorescence a panicle or raceme; ovary superior, of 1-8 carpels; fruit an aggregate of follicles, a single follicle, or an indehiscent berry-like fruit.
............ ............ ............ ............ ..26 Flowers bisexual; carpels 1-8; fruit an aggregate of follicles, a single follicle, or an indehiscent berry-like fruit
............ ............ ............ ............ ..26 Flowers unisexual; carpels (in pistillate flowers) of 3 (-5) carpels; fruit an aggregate of follicles
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Leaflets entire, or with 1-several, broad, obtuse, rounded, or broadly acute “sublobes”, especially towards the tip of the leaflet, the total number of “points” per leaflet < 10.
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Inflorescence an umbel; ovary inferior, of 2 fused carpels; fruit a schizocarp of 2 mericarps
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Inflorescence a raceme, panicle, or cyme; ovary superior, of either 1-2 fused carpels or of many separate 1-carpellate pistils.
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Perianth bilaterally symmetrical, the corolla of 4 fused petals; plant a scandent vine or erect or sprawling herb
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Perianth radially symmetrical, of 1-5 whorls of separate perianth parts; plant an erect herb.
............ ............ ............ ............ ........29 Perianth of 4-5 whorls of 3 parts each (some of the whorls modified into nectaries); pistil 1, 1-carpellate; fruit a drupelike, blue, naked seed; largest leaflets > 6 cm long, obviously longer than wide
............ ............ ............ ............ ........29 Perianth of 1 whorl; of 4-5 parts; pistils many, each 1-carpellate; fruit an aggregate of achenes or an aggregate of follicles; largest leaflets either < 6 cm long, or if longer than 6 cm, also about as wide as long

Key to Ranunculaceae, Key C: Subkey in Ranunculaceae

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1 Leaflets linear, < 1.5 mm wide.
..2 Flowers bilaterally symmetrical; [subfamily Ranunculoideae, tribe Delphineae]
..2 Flowers radially symmetrical.
....3 Aquatic; [native]; [subfamily Ranunculoideae, tribe Ranunculeae]
....3 Terrestrial; [exotic].
......4 Flower closely subtended by a finely dissected involucre; pistils compound; [subfamily Ranunculoideae, tribe Nigelleae]
......4 Flower lacking involucre; pistils simple.
........5 Petals 8-15 mm long, red, purple, or orange; [subfamily Ranunculoideae, tribe Adonideae]
........5 Petals 3-5 mm long, yellow; [subfamily Ranunculoideae, tribe Ranunculeae]
1 Leaflets broader, rounded, lobed, or toothed.
..........6 Leaves all cauline, opposite; stems somewhat woody at base; [subfamily Ranunculoideae, tribe Anemoneae]
..........6 Leaves basal and cauline, the cauline alternate (or with opposite or whorled involucral bracts).
............ 7 Petals present, conspicuous
............ ..8 Flowers dangling; petals red, orange with yellow, or blue, spurred; [subfamily Thalictroideae]
............ ..8 Flowers not dangling; petals yellow, not spurred; [subfamily Ranunculoideae, tribe Ranunculeae]
............ 7 Petals absent or inconspicuous (soon deciduous or altered into a nectary-bearing clavate structure); sepals sometimes petaloid and conspicuous.
............ ....9 Sepals petaloid, conspicuous, white (or cream, rose, pink, or tinged with green).
............ ......10 Involucre absent, all leaves on the stem alternate; petaloid sepals 5, white; [subfamily Thalictroideae]
............ ......10 Involucre of opposite or whorled, leaflike bracts present; petaloid sepals (4-) 5-20 (-30), white, cream, rose, or green.
............ ........11 Basal leaves with 3-5 leaflets, these toothed or incised; petaloid sepals white, cream, rose, or green; [subfamily Ranunculoideae, tribe Anemoneae]
............ ........11 Basal leaves with > 5 leaflets; these with 0-3 rounded lobes at the tip; petaloid sepals white to pale pink; [subfamily Thalictroideae]
............ ....9 Sepals absent, or inconspicuous in comparison to the stamens or pistils.
............ ..........12 Leaflets 3; flower solitary; [subfamily Coptidoideae]
............ ..........12 Leaflets many; flowers many, in a panicle or raceme.
............ ............ 13 Inflorescence a raceme; [subfamily Ranunculoideae, tribe Cimicifugeae]
............ ............ 13 Inflorescence a panicle; [subfamily Thalictroideae]

Key to Ranunculaceae, Key D: Subkey in Ranunculaceae

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1 Fruit a follicle or capsular (or fleshy and berrylike in some Actaea).
..2 Mature leaves > 4 dm wide; [subfamily Ranunculoideae, tribe Cimicifugeae]
..2 Mature leaves < 3 dm wide.
....3 Leaflets linear; [exotics].
......4 Flowers in a raceme, not subtended by an involucre; fruit follicular, each with a 1-2 mm long beak; [subfamily Ranunculoideae, tribe Delphineae]
......4 Flower solitary, subtended by a finely divided involucre; fruit a spherical capsule-like structure composed of 5 or 10 partially connate follicles, each follicle terminated by a linear beak 13-20 mm long; [subfamily Ranunculoideae, tribe Nigelleae]
....3 Leaflets broad, rounded; [mostly natives].
........5 Follicles borne on stipes, forming an umbel-like cluster; rhizomes yellow or orange; [subfamily Coptidoideae]
........5 Follicles sessile; rhizomes brown or tan; [subfamily Thalictroideae].
..........6 Follicles 15-31 mm long, with beaks 7-18 mm long
..........6 Follicles 3.5-6.5 mm long, with beaks 1.5-3 mm long
1 Fruit an achene.
............ 7 Leaves divided into numerous linear segments, all of which are < 1 mm wide.
............ ..8 Plant aquatic (if leaves divided into numerous linear segments); [subfamily Ranunculoideae, tribe Ranunculeae]
............ ..8 Plant terrestrial.
............ ....9 Achenes 3-5 mm long, glabrous, with a persistent beak 0.5-1 mm long; [subfamily Ranunculoideae, tribe Adonideae]
............ ....9 Achenes 1.6-2 mm long, tomentose, with a persistent beak 3.5-4.5 mm long; [subfamily Ranunculoideae, tribe Ranunculeae]
............ 7 Leaf segments rounded or cleft, > 1 mm wide.
............ ......10 Leaves cauline, opposite; [subfamily Ranunculoideae, tribe Anemoneae]
............ ......10 Leaves basal and/or cauline, cauline leaves (if present) alternate (leaflike involucral bracts sometimes present and opposite or whorled).
............ ........11 Leaflike involucral bracts present, opposite or whorled.
............ ..........12 Achenes not ribbed or veined on lateral surfaces; leaf texture moderate to distinctly thick and leathery; [subfamily Ranunculoideae, tribe Anemoneae]
............ ..........12 Achenes conspicuously ribbed or veined on lateral surfaces; leaf texture thin, delicate; [subfamily Thalictroideae]
............ ........11 Leaflike involucral bracts not present.
............ ............ 13 Leaflets 3-many, if many the leaflets typically with teeth, or sharp lobes; [subfamily Ranunculoideae, tribe Ranunculeae]
............ ............ 13 Leaflets many, unlobed or typically with 3-9 rounded lobes; [subfamily Thalictroideae]
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