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Key C5: rooted aquatics with cauline leaves, compound or divided

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1 Leaves (or leaf-like adventitious roots) 1-pinnately compound or divided (with a central axis bearing pinnae, the pinnae not further divided).
..2 Leaves crowded at the upper end of the stem, supported by inflated branches
..2 Leaves (or leaf-like adventitious roots) spaced along the stem, no branches inflated.
....3 Emersed leaves diamond-shaped, the blade < 2× as long wide, serrate only in the upper portion of its length
....3 Emersed leaves lanceolate, the blade > 4× as long as wide, serrate along its length
1 Leaves dichotomously or otherwise complexly (2-3×) compound or divided.
......4 Plants bearing numerous bladder-like traps
......4 Plants lacking bladder-like traps.
........5 Leaves alternate; leaf segments complexly (but not dichotomously) branched.
..........6 Leaf dissection 2-pinnate to 3-pinnate; flowers in racemes; petals 4, white
..........6 Leaf dissection 2-ternate to 3-ternate; flowers solitary; petals 5, yellow or white
........5 Leaves opposite or whorled; leaf segments dichotomously branched.
............ 7 Leaves whorled; leaf segments entire or toothed with denticles.
............ ..8 Leaf segments toothed with denticles
............ 7 Leaves opposite; leaf segments entire.

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]
............ ....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)
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 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 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 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 P1: herbaceous dicots with alternate, simple, and unlobed 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 Perianth uniseriate (represented only by undifferentiated tepals or sepals) or completely absent; flowers usually unisexual, less commonly bisexual).
....3 Inflorescence a cyathium, consisting of a single pistillate flower (reduced to a single 3-carpellate pistil) and 2 or more staminate flowers (each reduced to 1 stamen), borne in a cup-like involucre, the involucre bearing pointed or rounded glands, these sometimes brightly colored and petaloid, mimicking an individual flower (the cyathia then secondarily arranged in terminal cymes, or solitary and axillary, etc.); fresh plants with milky juice; fruit a 3-lobed, 3-locular capsule
....3 Inflorescence not a cyathium (and staminate or bisexual flowers with > 1 stamen; fresh plants lacking milky juice (except Stillingia in EUPHORBIACEAE); fruit various, not as above.
......4 Leaf margins toothed in some manner (serrate, dentate, crenate, etc.)
........5 Leaf teeth rounded to subacute, resembling shallow lobes, irregular, few (mostly < 6 per leaf side).
..........6 Fruit a single-seeded achene or utricle; [plants of various disturbed or saline, usually sunny habitats]
..........6 Fruit a 3-lobed, circumscissilely dehiscent capsule; [plants native of rich moist shaded forests or exotics in suburban woodlands]
........5 Leaf teeth sharp to crenate, not lobe-like, regular, many (mostly > 10 per leaf side).
............ 7 Leaf bases cordate to rounded.
............ ..8 Styles 3; fruit a 3-lobed, 3-carpellate capsule (1 carpel sometimes aborting); inflorescence either a terminal or leaf opposed raceme, or a dense axillary condensed cyme with conspicuous toothed bracts subtending the flowers
............ ..8 Styles 1 or 2; fruit either an achene or a multiple of achenes; inflorescence either an axillary dense cyme (almost a head), or an axillary spike with glomerules, or a terminal or axillary panicle.
............ ....9 Styles 2; inflorescence a dense axillary cyme (almost a head); fruit a multiple of achenes; plant lacking stinging hairs; [exotic plant of weedy situations]
............ ....9 Style 1; inflorescence an axillary spikes with glomerules, or a terminal or axillary panicle; plant either with stinging hairs or not; [plant a rare exotic (Boehmeria nivea) or a native of moist forests (Boehmeria cylindrica, Laportea)]
......4 Leaf margins entire.
............ ........11 Leaf base cordate; calyx 3-lobed, fused into a bilaterally symmetrical, curved brown or yellowish tube; fruit a capsule
............ ........11 Leaf base cuneate, rounded, or truncate; calyx of 3-4-5 distinct sepals, radially symmetrical, white or yellow; fruit a dry, nutlike drupe or an achene.
............ ..........12 Leaves subsessile or very short petiolate, elliptic or narrowly elliptic, broadest near the middle; [native]
............ ..........12 Leaves distinctly petiolate, rhombic, widest near the base; [rarely naturalized exotics].
............ ............ ..14 Inflorescence a leaf-opposed (sometimes apparently terminal) spike or raceme; flowers visually white from white petaloid sepals, white bracts, or white stamens.
............ ............ ....15 Sepals present, 4 or 5; petaloid, white; carpels 1 to many (-12); stamens 4 to many (-25); fruit a berry or an apically 2-lobed achene (as in Petiveria); leaf bases cuneate or rounded (but not cordate); [Eudicots].
............ ............ ......16 Sepals 4; carpels 1; fruit subglobose berries or apically lobed achenes
............ ............ ......16 Sepals 5; carpels 6-12, distinct; fruit an oblate berry
............ ............ ....15 Sepals absent; carpels 3-4; stamens 2-6 (-8); fruit a capsule, a 1-seeded drupe, or a schizocarp of 3-4 mericarps; leaf bases cordate or subcordate; [Basal Angiosperms].
............ ............ ........17 Fruit a 1-seeded drupe; stamens 2; plants terrestrial or epiphytic
............ ............ ........17 Fruit a capsule or schizocarp with 3-4 mericarps; stamens 3 or 6-8; plants terrestrial
............ ............ ..14 Inflorescence not leaf-opposed, either simpler (single axillary or glomerules of flowers) or more complexly branched (axillary or terminal panicles or complex cymes); flowers white, reddish, scarious, or greenish.
............ ............ ..........18 Stipules tubular, sheathing (= ocreae); flowers subtended by tubular, sheathing bracteoles (= ocreolae); nodes usually prominently swollen; perianth usually of 5-6 white to pink tepals
............ ............ ..........18 Stipules not tubular or sheathing; flowers not subtended by ocreolae; nodes not swollen; perianth absent or of 3-5 sepals.
............ ............ ............ ..20 Ovary 1-locular; styles 1-3, not bifid; fruit a utricle or achene (1-seeded).
............ ............ ............ ....21 Styles 1-3, if style 1, then stigmas 3; flowers bisexual or unisexual.
..2 Perianth biseriate (represented by differentiated whorls of sepals and petals, the sepals usually green or drab in color, the petals often brightly colored); flowers nearly always bisexual (there are exceptions).
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Inflorescence various, either a terminal head, or axillary and solitary, or variously axillary or terminal and more diffuse.
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Petals 4 7; stamens 6 or more; inflorescence various, not a head; fruit a capsule.
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Petals 4-7; stamens 1× or 2× as many as the petals, 4-7, 8, 10, 12, or14; leaves herbaceous in texture
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Petals 5 (or sometimes doubled in horticultural forms); stamens 6-40 (or more); leaves fleshy in texture
............ ............ ............ ............ ........29 Corolla bilaterally symmetrical, petals connate (except distinct in VIOLACEAE); fruit a capsule or legume (except a 1-seeded indehiscent spinose pod in Krameria in KRAMERIACEAE).
............ ............ ............ ............ ..........30 Petals connate (at least basally), 4, 5, 6, 7, or 8; carpels 1, 2, 4, 5, or 6 (rarely 3 in Reseda in RESEDACEAE); fruit a legume or 1-, 2-, or 5-loculed capsule (except a 1-seeded indehiscent pod in Krameria in KRAMERIACEAE).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 31 Stamens 6-10 (-25), more than the number (4 or 5) of petals and the number (4 or 5) of the sepals; fruit a legume or a 1-6-carpellate capsule.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 31 Stamens 4-5, less than the number (5) of the petals; fruit a 2-5-carpellate capsule.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........35 Pistil 2-carpellate; capsule 2 locular, opening gradually or not at all; inflorescence a terminal spike, raceme or panicle (or solitary, axillary flowers in Chaenorrhinum in PLANTAGINACEAE and Krameria in KRAMERIACEAE).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........36 Fruit 1-seeded, indehiscent; sepals petaloid, red-purple; petals dimorphic, the upper 3 long-clawed, the lower 2 small, thickened, and glandlike
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 37 Stamens 5; corolla not spurred; capsule septicidal; pubescence of the stem and leaves either gland-tipped or dendritically branched
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 37 Stamens 4; corolla with a distinct spur or sac at the base between the the 2 lower calyx lobes (except not spurred in Digitalis and Schwalbea); capsule loculicidal (only at the summit in Antirrhinum and Chaenorrhinum, and septicidal in Schwalbea); pubescence of the stem and leaves neither gland-tipped (except in Antirrhinum and Chaenorrhinum) nor dendritically branched.
............ ............ ............ ............ ........29 Corolla radially symmetrical, petals connate or distinct; fruit various (including a capsule).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......40 Pistils 4-10 (each 1-carpellate) in a ring, these sometimes fused basally, each with its own style/stigma; fruit either an aggregate of achenes or follicles or a 5 (-7) locular capsule.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........42 Fruit an aggregate of follicles; leaves fleshy in texture; inflorescence; leaves entire of sparsely and coarsely serrate, with < 12 points per leaf; [plants primarily of dry habitats]
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........42 Fruit a 5 (-7) locular capsule; leaves membranaceous in texture; leaves serrate, with > 20 points per leaf; [plants of wet habitats]
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......40 Pistil 1, with 1-to many carpels (in many MALVACEAE, the carpels loosely united in a ring [of more than 5] around the single style/stigma); fruit either a 1-, 2-, 3-, 5-, 6-, or 10-locular capsule, or a silique/silicle, or a ring of mericarps.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..44 Petals 5 (rarely 4 or 6); sepals 5 (rarely 4 or 6); stamens 5 (or multiples of 5), 6, or 12; fruit a capsule or a ring of mericarps.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....45 Stamens many, connate into a staminal tube; carpels 5-many; fruit a capsule or ring of mericarps; leaves usually serrate
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....45 Stamens 5-many, distinct; carpels 2-5; fruit a capsule; leaves entire (serrate in Croton in EUPHORBIACEAE).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........47 Flowers 6-merous (the petals and sepals 6, the stamens 6 or 12); corolla pink or purplish (rarely white); fruit a septicidal capsule
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........47 Flowers 5-merous (the petals and sepals 5, stamens 5 or various multiples of 5); corolla yellow, reddish, or blue; fruit a loculicidal or septicidal capsule.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........48 Stamens (5-) 10, 15, 20, 30 (-many); corolla white, pink, yellow, or reddish; capsule 3-, 5- (-10)-locular, loculicidal.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....51 Pistils 2, united only by the style and stigma; fruit a schizocarp of 2 follicles (often single by abortion); plant with milky juice when fresh; leaves entire; inflorescence an umbel
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....51 Pistil 1 (of 2 or 3 fused carpels); fruit a capsule; plant lacking milky juice; leaves entire or serrate; inflorescence various (but not an umbel).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........54 Leaves larger (or only 2-8 mm long in Pyxidanthera in DIAPENSIACEAE, but then spreading); petals 5-7; stamens 5-7.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 55 Plant a creeping subshrub (keyed here as a failsafe); leaves either 0.2-0.8 cm long and acicular, or 2-10 cm long and broadly ovate or elliptic.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........59 Corolla lobes longer than the fused corolla cup, blue, pink, or white; styles 2; herbage lacking stipitate glands; fresh plants not aromatic.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........59 Corolla lobes very short, much shorter than the corolla cup or tube, sometimes barely perceptible and represented only by teeth on the edge of the corolla limb, white or pink; style 1; herbage often with stipitate glands; fresh plants often rankly aromatic
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....63 Corolla lobes very short, much shorter than the corolla cup or tube, sometimes barely perceptible and represented only by teeth on the edge of the corolla limb, white, yellow, pink, various other colors (rarely including blue).

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.
......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 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.
............ 7 Involucre well-developed and obvious
..........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 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
............ ............ ......16 Petals connate; fruit a capsule or a schizocarp of 3 1-seeded mericarps.
............ ............ ........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 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

Key to Ranunculaceae, Key A: Subkey in Ranunculaceae

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1 Flowers bilaterally symmetrical, the upper sepal hooded or spurred; [tribe Delphinieae].
..2 Upper sepal hooded or helmet-shaped; petals hidden by the sepals; perianth blue or creamy white; stems weak, clambering, reclining, vining, or ascending in a curve
..2 Upper sepal spurred; petals at least partly exserted from the sepals; perianth blue, pink, white, or greenish; stems strong, erect, normally straight
1 Flowers radially symmetrical, no perianth parts spurred or hooded (except the 5 sepals spurred in Myosurus).
....3 Petals present, white or yellow, larger and more conspicuous than the sepals; sepals present, green; [in other words, with a second, green, less conspicuous perianth whorl below the largest and colored perianth whorl; note that some Anemone have a calyx-like involucre of 3 bracts subtending each flower]; [tribe Ranunculeae].
......4 Basal leaves linear to linear-spatulate, mostly 4-8 cm long, 1-3 mm wide; receptacle elongate, 1-6 cm long (superficially resembling a Plantago inflorescence)
......4 Basal leaves various, but not as above; receptacle globose to sub-cylindric, mostly < 1 cm long
........5 Sepals 3 (-4); petals 7-12; achenes pubescent, beakless; leaves simple, cordate, unlobed; [introduced garden plants]
........5 Sepals (3-) 5 (-6); petals typically 5-9 (10 in some "doubled" forms); achenes smooth or variously ornamented with spines, papillae, or tubercles, sometimes also pubescent; leaves various, usually not at once simple, cordate, and unlobed (except in Halerpestes); [native or introduced].
..........6 Cauline leaves present, well-developed; basal leaves not simultaneously cordate and unlobed
....3 Petals absent (or modified into relatively inconspicuous nectaries or staminodia); sepals present and petaloid (white, yellow, yellow-green, cream, or blue).
............ 7 Petaloid sepals 3-5 mm long, caducous; stamens white and showy; [tribe Ranunculeae]
............ 7 Petaloid sepals 6-40 mm long, not caducous; stamens not notably white and showy.
............ ..8 Leaves opposite, distributed along the stem; style plumose; [tribe Anemoneae]
............ ..8 Leaves all basal, or with a few alternate or whorled involucrate leaves on the stem; style not plumose.
............ ....9 Petaloid sepals white, bluish, or blue; basal leaves 3-5 (-7)-lobed; [tribe Anemoneae]
............ ......10 Leaves lobed, and also toothed and variously cleft; leaves not variegated
............ ......10 Leaves lobed, the margins of the lobes entire; leaves often prominently variegated
............ ....9 Petaloid sepals yellow, green, or whitish (sometimes marked with purple); basal leaves unlobed, or palmately cleft into 5-11 (-many) segments.
............ ........11 Leaves cordate-reniform, unlobed; sepals bright yellow; petals absent; [native, of bogs and marshes]; [tribe Caltheae]
............ ........11 Leaves palmately or pedately lobed or divided; sepals green, greenish, dull yellow, or whitish; petals modified into tubular nectaries; [introduced, rarely persistent or escaped from cultivation].
............ ..........12 Sepals 5, green or maroon, persistent in fruit; cauline leaves present; leaf margins sharply and finely serrate; [tribe Helleboreae]
............ ..........12 Sepals 5-8, yellow; cauline leaves either present, alternate, or absent, except for the involucre of 3 bracts which immediately subtends the flower.
............ ............ 13 Cauline leaves absent, except the 3 involucral bracts immediately subtending the flower; [tribe Cimicifugeae]
............ ............ 13 Cauline leaves present, alternate, the uppermost > 1 cm below the flower; [tribe Helleboreae]

Key to Ranunculaceae, Key B: Subkey in Ranunculaceae

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1 Fruit a follicle, each carpel with 2 or more ovules.
..2 Leaves cordate-reniform, toothed, not lobed or divided; [tribe Caltheae]
..2 Leaves variously palmately or pedately lobed or divided.
....3 Carpels 1-3; plants 3-30 dm tall; [native, except Consolida]; [tribe Delphinieae].
......4 Stems weak, clambering, reclining, or vining
......4 Stems strong, erect
....3 Carpels 3-6; plants 1-5 dm tall; [introduced, rarely persistent or escaping].
........5 Cauline leaves absent, except for the involucre which immediately subtends the fruit; [tribe Cimicifugeae]
........5 Cauline leaves present; [tribe Helleboreae].
1 Fruit an achene (or dehiscent utricle in Trautvetteria), each carpel with 1 ovule.
..........6 Leaves opposite, distributed along the stem; style plumose; [tribe Anemoneae]
..........6 Leaves all basal, or with a few alternate or whorled involucrate leaves on the stem; style not plumose.
............ 7 Basal leaves linear to linear-spatulate, mostly 4-8 cm long, 1-3 mm wide; receptacle elongate, 1-6 cm long (superficially resembling a Plantago inflorescence); [tribe Ranunculeae]
............ 7 Basal leaves various, but not as above, generally long-petiolate, with an expanded, crenate-toothed, 3-lobed, or palmately-lobed blade; receptacle globose to sub-cylindric, mostly < 1 cm long.
............ ..8 Fruit a dehiscent utricle; cauline leaves alternate; [tribe Ranunculeae]
............ ..8 Fruit an achene; cauline leaves opposite or whorled (or alternate in Ranunculus, or reduced to alternate scale-like bracts in Halerpestes).
............ ....9 Cauline leaves opposite or whorled, or reduced to 3 sepal-like involucral bracts immediately subtending the flower; sepals absent (but in Hepatica” mimicked by the bracts); [tribe Anemoneae]
............ ......10 Leaves lobed, and also toothed and variously cleft; leaves not variegated
............ ......10 Leaves lobed, the margins of the lobes entire; leaves often prominently variegated
............ ....9 Cauline leaves alternate; sepals present; [tribe Ranunculeae]
............ ........11 Achenes smooth or variously ornamented with spines, papillae, or tubercles, sometimes also pubescent, usually noticeably beaked, the beak > 0.3 mm long; leaves various, usually not at once simple, cordate, and unlobed ; [native or introduced]
............ ........11 Achenes not ornamented with spines, papillae, or tubercles, pubescent or glabrous, beakless; leaves simple, unlobed.
............ ..........12 Sepals 3; [introduced garden plants]
............ ..........12 Sepals 5; [native, of s. NJ northwards]

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]

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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