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Key to Hydrophyllaceae

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1 Leaves entire, simple; styles 2, distinct to the ovary.
..2 Flowers in axillary cymes; capsule subglobose; leaves 2-12 cm long
..2 Flowers solitary or paired in the leaf axils; capsule cylindrical; leaves 0.8-1.5 (-3.5) cm long
1 Leaves dissected, lobed, pinnatifid, or toothed (sometimes the basalmost leaves simple); style fused for a portion of its length, 2-cleft toward the tip.
....3 Flowers solitary on pedicels either axillary to or opposite the leaves on the upper portion of the stem, and sometimes also terminal in a lax, (1-) 2-6-flowered cyme; [tribe Hydrophylleae].
......4 Leaves pinnatifid into 7-13 lanceolate lobes; calyx lobes lacking auricles in between; capsule 4-seeded; seeds lacking an elaiosome
......4 Leaves pinnate with into 3-13 obovate segments; calyx lobes alternating with reflexed or spreading auricles; capsule 1-4-seeded; seeds with a persistent elaiosome
....3 Flowers all terminal in 3-many-flowered cymes.
........5 Inflorescence repeatedly branched subdichotomously; larger leaf blades > 8 cm wide; stamens well exserted from the corolla (3 mm or more beyond the corolla); plants perennial from fibrous roots; [tribe Hydrophylleae]
........5 Inflorescence with a strong central axis (some secondary branching in P. bipinnatifida, but not as above); larger leaf blades < 5 cm wide (except P. bipinnatifida); stamens slightly exserted from the corolla (< 3 mm beyond the corolla) (except well-exserted in P. bipinnatifida, included in P. covillei); plants annual (biennial in P. bipinnatifida) from a taproot; [tribe Romanzoffieae]

Key N2: herbaceous dicots with mainly basal, simple leaves

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1 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
1 Inflorescence, flower, and fruit structure various, but not with the combination of features as above (sometimes the flowers in a head subtended by bracts, e.g. Eryngium in APIACEAE, but then with other features differing, such as stamens 4, or green calyx present, or petals separate, or fruit a schizocarp of mericarps, etc.).
..2 Basal leaves 2-lobed, pinnately lobed, or palmately lobed (not considering cordate, hastate, or auriculate leaf bases as “lobed”).
....3 Basal leaves 2-lobed, hinged between the lobes, each lobe with stiff, marginal, eyelash-like bristles; [Coastal Plain of NC and SC, rarely planted and weakly naturalized elsewhere]
....3 Basal leaves 3-many-lobed, palmately or pinnately; [collectively widespread].
......4 Leaf lobing pinnate.
........5 Gynoecium of separate pistils (each with a single carpel); fruit an aggregate
........5 Gynoecium of a single pistil (with 2, rarely more, carpels); fruit simple.
..........6 Stamens many; sepals 2, petals 4; fresh plants with yellow, orange, or white milky juice
..........6 Stamens 4, 5, or 6; sepals 4 or 5; petals 4 or 5.
............ 7 Petals 4, distinct; stamens 6
............ 7 Petals 5, fused; stamens 2, 4, or 5.
............ ..8 Corolla radially symmetrical; stamens 5
............ ..8 Corolla 2-lipped, bilaterally symmetrical or asymmetrical; stamens 2 or 4.
............ ....9 Corolla lobes not twisted, the flower bilaterally symmestrical; stamens 2
............ ....9 Corolla lobes twisted so as to make the flower asymmetrical; stamens 4
......4 Leaf lobing palmate.
............ ......10 Petiole attachment peltate.
............ ........11 Leaves < 10 cm in diameter
............ ........11 Leaves > 15 cm in diameter
............ ......10 Petiole attachment marginal.
............ ..........12 Ovary inferior.
............ ............ 13 Petals 4; stamens 8; fruit a capsule
............ ............ 13 Petals 5; stamens 5; fruit a schizocarp of 2 mericarps.
............ ............ ..14 Fruit tuberculate; leaves 3-lobed
............ ............ ..14 Fruit smooth; leaves with 5 or more lobes
............ ..........12 Ovary superior, or half-inferior by fusion of a hypanthium a part of the way up the ovary wall.
............ ............ ....15 Gynoecium of separate pistils (each with a single carpel); fruit an aggregate.
............ ............ ......16 Perianth of 5 green sepals and 5 colored petals.
............ ............ ........17 Carpels partly fused, arrayed in a ring of 10-20
............ ............ ........17 Carpels separate, spiral, many
............ ............ ......16 Perianth of a single whorl of 3-12 petaloid sepals (the petals absent or small and rudimentary).
............ ............ ..........18 Leaves 2, the single flower terminal and associated with the upper leaf; fruit an aggregate of berries
............ ............ ..........18 Leaves normally > 2, flowers not as above; fruit an aggregate of achenes, utricles, or follicles
............ ............ ....15 Gynoecium of a single pistil (with 1-5 carpels); fruit simple.
............ ............ ............ 19 Hypanthium present, partially fused or not fused to the pistil; ovary partially inferior to superior
............ ............ ............ 19 Hypanthium absent; ovary superior.
............ ............ ............ ..20 Petals connate at base; leaves sharply toothed
............ ............ ............ ..20 Petals distinct; leaves with rounded lobes or teeth.
............ ............ ............ ....21 Corolla radially symmetrical; petals 8-12; capsule fusiform, narrowed to both ends, > 5× as long as wide
............ ............ ............ ....21 Corolla bilaterally symmetrical; petals 5; capsule ovoid, < 2× as long as wide
..2 Basal leaves not lobed, at most serrate or crenate (and sometimes also cordate, hastate, auriculate, or peltate at the base).
............ ............ ............ ......22 Basal leaves petiolate, the blade with a cordate, hastate, auriculate, or peltate base.
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Inflorescence a terminal and/or axillary raceme, panicle, or cyme of many small flowers; fruit an achene; perianth uniseriate, of 0, 4-5, or 6 tepals.
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Flowers unisexual; staminate flowers 4-5 tepals, pistillate flowers lacking a perianth
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Inflorescence either a terminal spike, or a 1-7-flowered terminal cyme, or of a solitary axillary or terminal flower; fruit various; perianth biseriate (of differentiated sepals and petals (except uniseriate, of 3 fused sepals in ARISTOLOCHIACEAE).
............ ............ ............ ............ ..26 Flowers bilaterally symmetrical; inflorescence a terminal spike (with > 20 flowers); petals 4, usually scarious, transparent; sepals 4, green; stamens 4
............ ............ ............ ............ ..26 Flowers radially symmetrical; inflorescence either of a solitary flower or of a 1-7-flowered terminal cyme; petals 5, 8-12, or 0; sepals 5 (green), 3 (brown), or 5-9 (yellow); stamens 5, 12, or many.
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Gynoecium of separate pistils (each with a single carpel); fruit an aggregate of achenes or follicles; flowers bright yellow, either of 5-9 distinct petaloid sepals, or of 8-12 distinct petals subtended by 3-4 green distinct sepals
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Gynoecium either of a single pistil with 6 carpels or of a single pistil with 4 carpels or of 2 nearly separate carpels; fruit a simple capsule (or deeply 2-lobed); flowers white, brown, or greenish, either of 5 fused or distinct white petals and 5 fused or distinct green sepals, or of 3 fused brown or greenish petaloid sepals.
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Flowers brown or green, of 3 fused brown or greenish petaloid sepals (and 0 petals); carpels 6; stamens 12; leaves 4-10 cm wide
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Flowers white, of 5 white or whitish petals and 5 green sepals; carpels 2; stamens 5; leaves 1-12 (-15) cm wide
............ ............ ............ ............ ........29 Petals separate; sepals separate; plant glabrous
............ ............ ............ ............ ........29 Petals fused; sepals fused; carpels 2; plant pubescent.
............ ............ ............ ........23 Leaf margins crenate, serrate, or incised.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 31 Gynoecium of separate pistils (each with a single carpel); fruit an aggregate; perianth of 5 green sepals and 5 colored petals.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..32 Carpels 10-20, partly fused, arrayed in a ring; petals white, pink, red, or purplish
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..32 Carpels many, separate, spiral; petals yellow or white.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....33 Flowers lacking a hypanthium; fruit an aggregate of achenes or aggregate of follicles
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....33 Flowers with a hypanthium; fruit an aggregate of drupelets or aggregate of achenes
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 31 Gynoecium of a single pistil (with 1-5 carpels); fruit simple.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......34 Flowers bilaterally symmetrical; inflorescence of a solitary flower; fruit a 3-locular capsule
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......34 Flowers radially symmetrical; inflorescence an umbel (or composite of umbelliform units, or a terminal panicle.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........35 Ovary superior; inflorescence a terminal panicle or terminal raceme.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........36 Inflorescence a terminal raceme; perianth of 4 green sepals and 4 white petals; fruit a silique/silicle; fresh foliage in spring and summer with a strong garlic odor; larger leaves < 10 cm in diameter
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........36 Inflorescence a terminal panicle; perianth of 6 cream-colored petaloid sepals; fruit a winged achene; fresh foliage lacking a garlic odor; larger leaves typically > 30 cm in diameter
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........35 Ovary inferior; inflorescence an umbel (or a composite of umbellate units); fruit a schizocarp of mericarps.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 37 Petiole attachment marginal (the blade cleft to the petiole.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..38 Leaf blades longer than wide, sharply V-cleft at the base and otherwise shallowly denticulate
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..38 Leaf blades as broad or broader than long, cleft at the base and also irregularly serrate or crenate around the margin
............ ............ ............ ......22 Basal leaves petiolate or not, with a truncate, rounded, or cuneate leaf base.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....39 Leaves tubular, with a sutured ventral flange, erect or reclining, adapted as a pitfall for insects (flat, phyllodial leaves sometimes present as well, common in the winter in some species, such as S. oreophila)
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......40 Stem leaves opposite; perianth 5-merous, at least the corolla bilaterally symmetrical (barely so in VALERIANACEAE), or the parts curved so as to be asymmetrical (Pedicularis in OROBANCHACEAE); stamens 2, 3, or 4.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........42 Corolla narrowly tubular, the five lobes flaring at nearly 90 degrees and nearly radially symmetrical
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........42 Corolla distinctly 2-lipped (with prominently large upper and lower corolla lobes) or hooded (the upper lip hood-like), distinctly bilaterally symmetrical, or the lobes twisted so as to make the corolla asymmetrical.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 43 Corolla yellow, the upper lip often slightly to strongly maroon, hooded but the corolla lobes twisted so as to make the flower asymmetrical
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 43 Corolla white, lavender, or blue, 2-lipped and bilaterally symmetrical.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......40 Stem leaves alternate; perianth radially symmetrical (less commonly bilaterally symmetrical); stamens 5, 6-8, 9, 10 (rarely 4).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........48 Pistils many, each with a single carpel; fruit an aggregate of achenes
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........48 Pistil 1, with 1-5 carpels; fruit simple (a legume, silique/silicle, capsule, utricle, or schizocarp of 4 nutlets).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 49 Corolla bilaterally symmetrical (barely so in Limosella in SCROPHULARIACEAE); stamens 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..56 Perianth of green sepals and more brightly colored petals; stamens 5 or 10; carpels 2, 3, 4, or 5.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....57 Leaves covered with sticky, gland-tipped hairs (often red), as flypaper traps for insects
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......64 Inflorescence a somewhat to very diffuse panicle, with 3 or more orders of branching, not giving at all the impression that the overall inflorescence is made of racemose units.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........65 Leaves serrate or crenate; stamens 10; [plants of various habitats, especially rock outcrops and bottomland forests and streambanks, never in tidal marshes]
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......64 Inflorescence either a single terminal raceme (sometimes spike-like), or of 1 to several terminal and axillary racemes (these sometimes combined into a diffuse panicle, but one whose structure is clearly made up of many racemes).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........66 Inflorescence of 1-several terminal and axillary racemes, the plant typically well-branched, especially from the base; stamens 5
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........66 Inflorescence of a single, terminal raceme, the plant unbranched; stamens 10 (or 5, with 5 staminodes)

Key P2: herbaceous dicots with alternate, simple, and palmately lobed leaves on the stem

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1 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
1 Inflorescence, flower, and fruit structure various, but not with the combination of features as above (sometimes the flowers in a head, e.g. Eryngium in APIACEAE, but then with other features differing, such as stamens 4, or green calyx present, or fruit a schizocarp of mericarps, etc.).
..2 Plant a vine, climbing by tendrils or twining.
....3 Vine climbing by twining.
......4 Leaf margins entire; flowers bisexual; plants hermaphroditic; petals connate, large and showy
......4 Leaf margins serrate; flowers unisexual; plants dioecious; petals absent
....3 Vine climbing by tendrils.
........5 Ovary inferior; petals connate; flowers unisexual
........5 Ovary superior; petals distinct; flowers bisexual
..2 Plant an herb, sometimes sprawling, reclining (e.g. Cymbalaria in PLANTAGINACEAE, Aconitum in RANUNCULACEAE), but lacking climbing adaptations such as tendrils or twining stems.
..........6 Ovary inferior; inflorescence an umbel; fruit a schizocarp of 2 mericarps
............ 7 Involucre well-developed and obvious
............ 7 Involucre absent or minute
..........6 Ovary superior; inflorescence various, not an umbel; fruit various, a capsule, an aggregate of achenes or follicles, a ring of (>2) mericarps.
............ ..8 Perianth uniseriate, the corolla absent (the calyx petaloid and white in Cnidoscolus); flowers unisexual; plants either with stinging hairs or not
............ ..8 Perianth biseriate (uniseriate in Aphanes in ROSACEAE and in Trautvetteria in RANUNCULACEAE); flowers bisexual; plants lacking stinging hairs.
............ ....9 Pistils many (or 2-3 in Aphanes in ROSACEAE), each with 1 carpel, arranged spirally or in a ring (if in a ring, of 2-5); fruit an aggregate of achenes, follicles, or utricles.
............ ......10 Perianth bilaterally symmetrical, either hooded or spurred; fruit an aggregate of follicles
............ ......10 Perianth radially symmetrical, not hooded or spurred; fruit an aggregate of utricles or achenes (plumose achenes in Geum)
............ ........11 Stamens showy, bright white, dilated towards the tip; pistils ca. 15; fruit an aggregate of utricles
............ ........11 Stamens not showy, white, or dilated towards the tip; pistils many (> 25); fruit an aggregate of achenes.
............ ..........12 Flowers lacking a hypanthium; achenes short-beaked
............ ..........12 Flowers with a prominent hypanthium; achenes with an elongate, plumose beak
............ ....9 Pistil 1, with 1-to many carpels (in many MALVACEAE, the carpels loosely united in a ring of more than 5 around the style); fruit a capsule, an achene, a follicle, or a ring of 3 or 5-many 1-seeded mericarps.
............ ............ 13 Perianth uniseriate, the corolla absent
............ ............ 13 Perianth biseriate, with well-developed and differentiated calyx and corolla
............ ............ ..14 Corolla bilaterally symmetrical, the petals connate (except distinct in Delphinium in RANUNCULACEAE); fruit a capsule, a follicle, or a schizocarp of 3 1-seeded mericarps.
............ ............ ....15 Corolla not spurred; fruit an elongate (10-20 cm) capsule with 2 curved beaks
............ ............ ....15 Corolla with a nectar spur; fruit < 3 cm long.
............ ............ ......16 Petals distinct; fruit a follicle
............ ............ ......16 Petals connate; fruit a capsule or a schizocarp of 3 1-seeded mericarps.
............ ............ ........17 Carpels 2; fruit a capsule; stamens 4
............ ............ ........17 Carpels 3; fruit a schizocarp of 3 1-seeded mericarps; stamens 8
............ ............ ..14 Corolla radially symmetrical, the petals distinct (fused and tubular in Ipomoea); fruit a capsule or a schizocarp consisting of a ring of 5-many 1-seeded mericarps.
............ ............ ..........18 Stem trailing; petals fused and tubular
............ ............ ..........18 Stem erect; petals separate.
............ ............ ............ 19 Stamens many, connate into a stamen tube; carpels 5-many, completely or only loosely fused; fruit a capsule or a schizocarp of 5-many mericarps borne in a ring; calyx often subtended by an epicalyx (an additional calyx-like, green, foliaceous whorl of bracts)
............ ............ ............ 19 Stamens 5 or 10, distinct; carpels 2 or 5, fused; fruit a capsule or a schizocarp of 5 1-seeded mericarps.
............ ............ ............ ..20 Fruit a schizocarp of 5 1-seeded mericarps; carpels 5; stamens 10
............ ............ ............ ..20 Fruit a capsule with 2 locules, loculicidal; carpels 2; stamens 5
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