Colors

Data mode

Account

Login
Sign up

X
Keyed in multiple places:

Click the number at the start of a key lead to highlight both that lead and its corresponding lead. Click again to show only the two highlighted leads. Click a third time to return to the full key with the selected leads still highlighted.

Key G4: shrubs and subshrubs with alternate, simple, unlobed, entire leaves

Copy permalink to share | Check for keys that lead to this key

1 Leaves evergreen. {add to 1a: Scaevola in GOODENIACEAE, Morella (inodora) in MYRICACEAE, Ternstroemia in PENTAPHYLACACEAE, Pittosporum in PITTOSPORACEAE, Myrsine in PRIMULACEAE, Pyracantha in ROSACEAE, Dodonaea in SAPINDACEAE, Cestrum in SOLANACEAE, Thymelaea in THYMELAEACEAE, Conocarpus in COMBRETACEAE}
..2 Leaves 1-7 mm long, either acicular and spreading or ovate and appressed to the stems
..2 Leaves > 10 mm long.
....3 Leaves linear, > 15× as long as wide; [Monocots]
....3 Leaves broader, < 15× as long as wide; [Eudicots, Basal Angiosperms, or Monocots].
......4 Plant a creeping subshrub, < 1 dm tall
......4 Plant not creeping, > 3 dm tall.
........5 Inflorescence an involucrate head
........5 Inflorescence solitary (Illicium in ILLICIACEAE) or variously branched, spicate, racemose, or fascicled, not an involucrate head.
..........6 Carpels separate; fruit an aggregate; fresh foliage strongly fragrant; [Basal Angiosperms]
............ 7 Fruit an aggregate of woody follicles arranged in a whorl
............ 7 Fruit an aggregate of red to blackish berries, 4-6 mm long, each on a long stipe, giving the aggregate almost the apprearance of an umbel
..........6 Carpels fused; fruit a berry, drupe, acorn (nut), capsule, or legume; fresh foliage not strongly fragrant; [Eudicots, Monocots, and Basal Angiosperms].
............ ..8 Ovary with 3 carpels; fruit a berry; “leaves” actually cladodes; [Monocots]
............ ..8 Ovary with 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 carpels; fruit a berry, drupe, capsule, legume, or nut; leaves actually leaves; [Eudicots and Basal Angiosperms].
............ ....9 Leaves largely covered with silver and/or bronze lepidote scales and/or dense stellate hairs below (visible at 10× or higher magnification), giving the lower leaf surface a slightly shiny to almost metallic appearance. {add Lyonia ferruginea and L. fruticosa in ERICACEAE; add Loropetalum in HAMAMELIDACEAE}
............ ......10 Petals present, conspicuous, connate, white, the corolla rotate; fruit a berry with several seeds; fresh foliage with a strong, tar-like odor
............ ......10 Petals absent or inconspicuous, greenish and separate if present (note that the calyx is petaloid and white or yellowish in Elaeagnus of ELAEAGNACEAE); fruit a dry capsule with 3 seeds, or a drupe with a single seed; fresh foliage lacking a strong odor.
............ ........11 Perianth 4-merous; petals absent; petaloid sepals white to cream, fused and salverform; carpel 1; fruit a fleshy, red drupe, with a single seed
............ ........11 Perianth 5-merous; petals green and separate, or absent; sepals greenish, separate; carpels 3; fruit a 3-valved capsule with 3 seeds
............ ....9 Leaves with various vestiture, but not as above.
............ ..........12 Flowers in spikes, these solitary opposite leaves or in axillary umbels
............ ..........12 Flowers other types of inflorescences.
............ ............ 13 Leaves 1-foliolate on the upper stems, sometimes 3-foliolate below, or all reduced to phyllodial spines; flowers papilionaceous, bright yellow; fruit a legume; stems bright green
............ ............ 13 Leaves simple throughout; flowers either small, inconspicuous, tannish, borne in catkins (Quercus), or larger and urceolate, or with almost separate and spreading petals, white to pink, in various terminal or axillary, branched inflorescences; fruit either a nut in a cupule (an acorn), or a (3-) 5-valved capsule, or a spherical berry or drupe; stems generally brown or tan (sometimes green).
............ ............ ..14 Flowers small, inconspicuous, tannish, borne in catkins; fruit a nut in a cupule (an acorn)
............ ............ ..14 Flowers white to pink, either urceolate or tubular or with separate and spreading petals, in various terminal or axillary inflorescences; fruit either a (3-) 5-valved capsule, or a spherical berry with 10+ seeds, or a 4-8 seeded fleshy drupe, or a 1-seeded dry or fleshy drupe.
............ ............ ....15 Flowers white to pink, rotate or urceolate (the petals united at least basally), in various terminal or axillary inflorescences; fruit either a 2-5 valved capsule or a spherical berry with 10+ seeds.
............ ............ ......16 Leaves 1 per node or also paired (on one side of the stem) at some nodes (the leaves then uneven in size); inflorescences leaf-opposed; fruit a berry
............ ............ ......16 Leaves 1 per node; inflorescences terminal or axillary, never leaf-opposed; fruit a valved capsule
............ ............ ........17 Seeds without fleshy aril or attachment; ovaries 5-10 carpellate; flowers urceolate; leaves serrate or entire
............ ............ ........17 Seeds with fleshy aril or attachment; ovaries 2-4 carpellate; flowers rotate; leaves entire or very remotely serrulate.
............ ............ ..........18 Flowers few, not showy, green to greenish-white, inflorescence not densely arranged (flowers also sometimes solitary); capsules not beaked; leaves not revolute or undulate
............ ............ ..........18 Flowers numerous, showy, white; inflorescence densely arranged; capsules with short beak; leaf margins revolute or slightly undulate
............ ............ ....15 Flowers white, petals spreading, separate even at the base, in axillary fascicles or racemes; fruit either a fleshy drupe with 4-8 pyrenes, or a dry single-seeded drupe.
............ ............ ............ 19 Shrub rhizomatous and colonial; fruit an ellipsoid drupe, 2-3 cm long
............ ............ ............ 19 Shrub not rhizomatous; fruit either a fleshy or dry drupe, < 1 cm long.
............ ............ ............ ..20 Inflorescence an axillary fascicle or cluster; fruit a fleshy drupe with 4-8 pyrenes
............ ............ ............ ..20 Inflorescence an axillary raceme; fruit a dry drupe with 1 seed
1 Leaves deciduous. {add: Ditrysinia in EUPHORBIACEAE, Glochidion in PHYLLANTHACEAE, Phyllanthopsis in PHYLLANTHACEAE, Nierembergia in SOLANACEAE, Edgeworthia in THYMELAEACEAE, Ipomoea (I. carnea) in CONVOLVULACEAE; Swida (S. alternifolia) in CORNACEAE}
............ ............ ............ ....21 Inflorescence an involucrate head
............ ............ ............ ....21 Inflorescence branched, spicate, a catkin, or consisting of a solitary flower or axillary clusters or whorls, not an involucrate head.
............ ............ ............ ......22 Inflorescence a catkin; flowers unisexual; plants dioecious
............ ............ ............ ......22 Inflorescence various, not a catkin; flowers bisexual; plants hermaphroditic.
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Inflorescences axillary, solitary flowers
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Fruit a globose, spinose capsule bearing a longitudinal ridge across 1 or both faces, thus essentially resembling a spikey ball; perianth (4-)5-merous, consisting of 3 upper connate petaloid claws and two lower sessile petals; fresh plants without a strange musky odor; [Eudicots]
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Fruit an oblong berry, greenish-yellow when ripe, not bearing small spines; perianth 3-4-merous, without connate petaloid claws; fresh plants fragrant with a strange, musky odor; [Basal Angiosperms]
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Inflorescence of 2 or more flowers; perianth 3-5-merous; fresh plants not musky-fragrant; fruits various, not as above.
............ ............ ............ ............ ..26 Flowers 3-merous; fruit fleshy, red or greenish-yellow at maturity; ovary superior; [Basal Angiosperms or Eudicots].
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Leaves elliptic or narrowly elliptic, broadest near the middle; fresh plants strongly fragrant with a citrus-like aroma; stems unarmed; fruit a drupe, with a single seed
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Leaves obovate or oblanceolate, broadest near the apex; stems armed with nodal spines; fresh plants not fragrant; fruit a berry, with several seeds.
............ ............ ............ ............ ..26 Flowers 4-5-merous; fruit fleshy or dry, black, blue, brown, tan, or red at maturity; ovary superior or inferior; [Eudicots].
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Fruit a 4-5-valved capsule with many seeds; inflorescence either terminal, a corymb or panicle, or an axillary whorl
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Fruit either a drupe or berry (indehiscent, and variously fleshy or dry) or a dry 3-valved capsule with 1 seed; inflorescence axillary (solitary, clusters, fascicles, or racemes), or in a terminal raceme (Pyrularia in SANTALACEAE).
............ ............ ............ ............ ........29 Leaves largely covered with silver and/or bronze shiny lepidote scales below, giving the lower leaf surface an almost metallic appearance
............ ............ ............ ............ ........29 Leaves with various vestiture, but not as above.
............ ............ ............ ............ ..........30 Ovary inferior or half-inferior; inflorescence an axillary cluster or raceme, or a terminal raceme.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 31 Fruit an elongate drupe (definitely longer than thick), with 1 seed.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..32 Fruit 6-10 mm long; inflorescence an axillary fascicle
............ ............ ............ ............ ..........30 Ovary superior; inflorescence an axillary cluster or an axillary raceme (borne themselves in clusters).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......34 Fruit a red or orange berry, 8-20 mm long; leaves usually on spur-shoots; [salty coastal areas, or aliens of disturbed situations]
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......34 Fruit a yellowish-green drupe, 12-15 mm long; leaves on main stems; [rich forests, mainly inland]
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........35 Inflorescence a narrowly cylindrical raceme, clustered several to many at the tip of the previous year’s wood and below the current season’s growth; fruit < 3 mm in diameter
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........35 Inflorescence an axillary cluster; fruit > 4 mm in diameter
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........36 Fruit dry, opening by 3 valves, 1-seeded; leaf pubescence stellate
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........36 Fruit fleshy, with 4-8 seeds; leaf pubescence simple or absent.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 37 Fruit yellow to red, the pedicel 10-30 mm long; leaf venation pinnate, but irregular and reticulated
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 37 Fruit dark red to black, the pedicel < 10 mm long; leaf venation very neatly pinnate, with the secondary veins nearly straight and parallel to one another

Key G5: shrubs and subshrubs with alternate, simple, unlobed, toothed leaves

Copy permalink to share | Check for keys that lead to this key

1 Subshrubs or dwarf shrubs, aboveground stems creeping or erect, < 15 cm tall; leaves evergreen.
..2 Leaves 1.5-3 cm wide, coarsely toothed; flowers lacking sepals and petals; [alien species, sparingly naturalized or spreading in suburban situations]
..2 Leaves < 1.5 cm wide, finely toothed or entire; flowers with sepals and petals; [native species, collectively widespread and common].
....3 Leaves fleshy, terete in ×-section; petals 5, bright pink
....3 Leaves flat, not fleshy; petals white or pale pink.
......4 Leaves < 2.5 mm wide; corolla with petals distinct; plant creeping
......4 Leaves > 5 mm wide; corolla with petals fused (distinct in Chimaphila); plant creeping or erect
1 Shrubs, aboveground stems erect, > 30 cm tall; leaves evergreen or deciduous.
........5 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
........5 Inflorescence, flower, and fruit structure various, but not with the combination of features as above.
..........6 Leaves evergreen. {add to 6a Ardisia in PRIMULACEAE, Rhaphiolepis in ROSACEAE, Camellia in THEACEAE}
............ 7 Leaves glandular-punctate on one or both surfaces with golden-yellow glands; flowers unisexual, lacking a perianth; fruit a pale gray, waxy drupe with a single seed
............ 7 Leaves not glandular punctate; flowers bisexual or unisexual, with a white, pink, or yellow perianth; fruit various, a red, blue, or black drupe or berry with several seeds, or a capsule.
............ ..8 Petals connate and urceolate, white to pale pink; flowers bisexual; leaves ovate, lanceolate, or elliptic, broadest near the middle or towards the base, the teeth well-distributed along most of the margin on either side; fruit either a capsule or a red, blue, or black berry
............ ..8 Petals distinct, yellow or white; flowers unisexual or bisexual; leaves oblanceolate or elliptic, broadest towards the tip or near the middle, the teeth usually concentrated in the upper half of the leaf; fruit either a black or red drupe with several pyrenes, a red berry with several seeds, or red or black pomes.
............ ....9 Plants with nodal, simple or tripartite thorns; flowers bisexual, with a yellow perianth; fruit a red berry with several seeds
............ ....9 Plants lacking thorns; flowers unisexual or bisexual, with a white perianth; fruit either a black or red drupe with several pyrenes or a red or black pome.
............ ......10 Flowers unisexual; fruit a black or red drupe with several pyrenes
............ ......10 Flowers bisexual; fruit a red or black pome
..........6 Leaves deciduous.
............ ........11 Plants with nodal, simple or tripartite thorns; leaf teeth spinulose
............ ........11 Plants lacking thorns; leaf teeth acute, blunt, rounded, or callus-tipped, but not spinulose.
............ ..........12 Leaves crenate-wavy, with 1-2 teeth per cm of leaf margin; leaves usually obliquely cordate or angled-truncate at the base; pubescence of leaves and stems stellate
............ ..........12 Leaves crenulate, serrate or serrulate, with >2 teeth per cm of leaf margin; leaves cuneate, rounded, or subcordate at base, not oblique; pubescence of leaves and stems absent or simple.
............ ............ 13 Leaves prominently 3-veined from the base.
............ ............ ..14 Ovary 5-locular; stamens many or 5, fused or separate; fruit a 5-valved capsule or of 5 mericarps; flowers yellow or pink, or white with a pink blaze
............ ............ ..14 Ovary 3-locular; stamens 5, separate; fruit a 3-valved capsule or drupe; flowers white or pale green
............ ............ 13 Leaves pinnately veined.
............ ............ ....15 Flowers in catkins; perianth absent or very small; fruit a 1-seeded nut, samara, or waxy drupe (capsule in Salix in SALICACEAE).
............ ............ ......16 Leaves > 4 cm wide, lacking punctate glands; fruit a 1-seeded nut or samara
............ ............ ......16 Leaves < 3 cm wide, either punctate-glandular on one or both surfaces or lacking punctate glands; fruit a 1-seeded waxy drupe or a capsule.
............ ............ ........17 Leaves punctate-glandular on one or both surfaces; fruit a 1-seeded waxy drupe.
............ ............ ........17 Leaves lacking punctate glands; fruit a capsule.
............ ............ ....15 Flowers arrayed variously, but not in catkins; perianth present, conspicuous; fruit a 1-many-seeded capsule, pome, berry, or follicle.
............ ............ ..........18 Ovary inferior; fruit fleshy and indehiscent, a berry or pome.
............ ............ ............ 19 Fruit a berry; leaves lacking stipules
............ ............ ............ 19 Fruit a pome; leaves usually prominently stipular
............ ............ ..........18 Ovary superior; fruit either dry and dehiscent, a capsule or an aggregate of follicles or achenes, or fleshy and indehiscent, a drupe with 4-8 pyrenes.
............ ............ ............ ..20 Flower apocarpous; fruit an aggregate of follicles or achenes
............ ............ ............ ..20 Flower syncarpous; fruit either a capsule or a fleshy drupe.
............ ............ ............ ....21 Ovary 1-carpellate; fruit a 1-seeded drupe
............ ............ ............ ....21 Ovary 2-8-carpellate; fruit either a capsule or a drupe with 4-8 pyrenes
............ ............ ............ ......22 Ovary 2-8-locular; fruit fleshy and indehiscent, a drupe with 2-8 pyrenes; flowers mostly functionally unisexual (or sometimes bisexual in RHAMNACEAE).
............ ............ ............ ........23 Petals connate at the base; stamens alternate to the petals and opposite to the sepals; fruit 4-8-locular, with 4-8 pyrenes
............ ............ ............ ........23 Petals separate (or absent in Rhamnus alnifolia); stamens opposite to the petals (when present) and alternate to the sepals; fruit 2-4-locular, with 2-4 pyrenes
............ ............ ............ ......22 Ovary 2-3- or 5-locular; fruit dry and dehiscent, a capsule; flowers bisexual (except Stillingia in EUPHORBIACEAE).
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Ovary and capsule 5-locular; stamens 10-many.
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Stamens 10; corolla urceolate, sympetalous
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Stamens many; corolla spreading, apopetalous
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Ovary and capsule 2-3-locular; stamens 2, 5, or 10.
............ ............ ............ ............ ..26 Leaves > 5× as long as wide; stamens 2; ovary and capsule 3-locular; [plants of the Coastal Plain of SC, GA, AL, and FL]
............ ............ ............ ............ ..26 Leaves < 3× as long as wide; stamens 5 or 10; ovary and capsule 2-3-locular; [plants collectively widespread].
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Stamens 5; ovary and capsule 2-locular; leaves elliptic (widest near the middle), the teeth fine (usually > 5 points per cm of margin), and along much of the margin; inflorescence a terminal raceme; hairs of the lower leaf surface simple, erect
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Stamens 10; ovary and capsule 3-locular; leaves obovate (widest towards the apex), the teeth obscure to coarse (usually < 4 points per cm of margin), and primarily in the upper half of the leaf; inflorescence a terminal or axillary raceme or cyme; hairs of the lower leaf surface either simple and appressed, or stellate.
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Leaf margins regularly and evenly serrate in the upper half of the leaf (usually nearly entire towards the base); inflorescence an elongate, many flowered (>30) raceme borne at the end of branchlets of the season; corolla of separate petals, the stamens separate; hairs of the lower leaf surface simple and appressed
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Leaf margins wavy or irregularly dentate, mainly in the upper half of the leaf; inflorescence a few flowered (<20) axillary raceme, cyme, or cluster; corolla fused basally into a tube, the stamens adnate to the tube; hairs of the lower leaf surface stellate

Key J4: shrubs and subshrubs with opposite simple leaves with entire margins

Copy permalink to share | Check for keys that lead to this key

1 Aerial and epiphytic, hemiparasitic shrub
1 Terrestrial, autotrophic or hemiparasitic shrub or subshrub.
..2 Leaves succulent, nearly as thick as wide; [brackish to saline situations]
..2 Leaves herbaceous (succulent in Borrichia), much wider than thick; [various habitats].
....3 Creeping or short subshrubs, the stems primarily prostrate, < 2 dm tall.
......4 Well-developed leaves 4-6 per stem; inflorescence a head subtended by 4 large white bracts
......4 Well-developed leaves many per stem; inflorescence of individual flowers axillary in pairs or clusters or in terminal cymes.
........5 Flowers yellow; leaves with pellucid or dark punctate glands (use at least 10× magnification)
........5 Flowers white, pale pink, or deep pink; leaves lacking sessile, punctate glands.
..........6 Leaves linear; flowers pale to deep pink, 5-merous
..........6 Leaves orbicular or elliptic; flowers white to pale pink, 4-merous or 5-merous
............ 7 Leaves elliptic; flowers 5-merous; fruit a brownish capsule
............ 7 Leaves orbicular; flowers 4-merous; fruit a red berry
....3 Upright or scrambling shrubs, > 3 dm tall
............ ..8 Scrambling shrubs, armed with recurved paired spines at the nodes
............ ..8 Upright shrubs, unarmed.
............ ....9 Inflorescence a terminal head of many flowers.
............ ......10 Head spherical, lacking an involucre of conspicuous bracts or phyllaries
............ ......10 Head flattened, either subtended by 4 large white bracts or by an involucre with >5 green phyllaries.
............ ........11 Head subtended by 4 large white bracts; leaves with prominently parallel-arcing secondary veins; flowers 4-merous
............ ........11 Head subtended by an involucre of >5 green phyllaries; leaves with venation otherwise; flowers 5-merous
............ ....9 Inflorescence otherwise, either of a solitary flower, or one of a wide variety of inflorescences with flowers attached at different points along branched or unbranched axes (e.g. axillary). {add: [Lagerstroemia] LYTHRACEAE; [Rosmarinus] LAMIACEAE; [Laguncularia] COMBRETACEAE; [Buxus] BUXACEAE; [Exochorda] ROSACEAE; various other [see spreadsheet]}
............ ..........12 Inflorescence flat-topped (broader than long), terminal, a compound cyme or corymb.
............ ............ 13 Flowers bright yellow; stamens many; leaves < 1.5 cm wide; fruit a capsule; leaves with pellucid or dark punctate glands (use at least 10× magnification)
............ ............ 13 Flowers white or creamy; stamens 4-5; leaves > 1.5 cm wide; fruit a drupe; leaves lacking sessile, punctate glands.
............ ............ ..14 Petals 5; foliage with simple hairs
............ ............ ..14 Petals 4; foliage with T-shaped hairs
............ ..........12 Inflorescence either terminal and not flat-topped (longer than wide), or axillary and variously shaped, or terminal and solitary, or leaf-opposed.
............ ............ ....15 Carpels many (> 9), either separate or fused; stamens many; perianth segments either many and undifferentiated into calyx and corolla, maroon, brown, or yellow (in CALYCANTHACEAE), or differentiated into a fleshy and persistent calyx of 5-9 sepals, and a deciduous corolla of 5-9 red (or white) petals (Punica in LYTHRACEAE).
............ ............ ......16 Fruit a wrinkled, 3-7 cm long, brown to black, elliptical aggregate of nearly spherical, large achenes; flowers solitary in axils; perianth segments many and undifferentiated into calyx and corolla, maroon, brown, or yellowish; ovary superior; branches unarmed
............ ............ ......16 Fruit a leathery, 4-15 cm in diameter, reddish, spherical berry with obpyramidal seeds surrounded by a juicy sarcotesta (pomegranate); perianth differentiated, the sepals fleshy and persistent on the fruit, the petals deciduous, 5-9, bright red to white; ovary inferior; branches typically armed with axillary spines
............ ............ ....15 Carpels 1-5, fused; stamens either 1-5 or 8-10; perianth segments 4-5 or 8, variously colored; fruit a simple capsule, drupe, or berry (including berry-like fruit); flowers 2-many, in axillary or terminal inflorescences (pistillate flowers sometimes solitary in SANTALACEAE and THESIACEAE); [Eudicots].
............ ............ ........17 Ovary inferior; corolla absent, radially symmetrical, or bilaterally symmetrical; fruit either a berry or a 1-seeded drupe.
............ ............ ..........18 Flowers unisexual and plants dioecious; corolla absent; pistillate flowers solitary, staminate flowers in pedunculate umbels or cymes, either terminal or axillary; fruit a 1-seeded drupe; leaves acute to acuminate at the apex
............ ............ ..........18 Flowers bisexual and plants hermaphroditic; corolla present; flowers paired, terminal or axillary, or in axillary spikes; fruit a berry; leaves rounded, obtuse, to acute (or acuminate in Lonicera maackii) at the apex
............ ............ ........17 Ovary superior; corolla radially symmetrical (absent in Forestiera in OLEACEAE); fruit either a 1-4-seeded drupe, or a many-seeded berry (or berry-like fruit), or a capsule.
............ ............ ............ ..20 Leaves with a conspicuous mix of silvery stellate hairs (upper) and rusty colored scales (lower); ovaries bearing rusty colored scales; flowers small, yellowish and inconspicuous; [nw. PA northward]
............ ............ ............ ..20 Leaves glabrous or nearly so, lacking a conspicuous mix of stellate hairs adaxially and rusty scales abaxially; ovaries not bearing rusty colored scales; flowers of various size and color.
............ ............ ............ ....21 Stamens 8-10, of 2 different lengths in each flower; petals separate, 4-5 (-7), pink purple, 10-15 mm long; stems strongly arching, rooting at the tips; [plants of flooded to saturated wetlands]
............ ............ ............ ....21 Stamens either (1-) 2 (-4), or 4-5, or 10, all of the same length; petals fused (separate in RHAMNACEAE and BUXACEAE, but then < 5 mm long and white or cream), white, bright-yellow, lilac, or pink; stems erect (or at least not arching and rooting at the tips); [plants of various habitats].
............ ............ ............ ......22 Petals separate, 4-5, white or cream; stamens 4-5.
............ ............ ............ ........23 Fruit a loculicidal capsule, dehiscing into 3 valves; branches square in ×-section; leaves < 2 cm long; [alien, cultivated and weakly established, of temperate areas]
............ ............ ............ ........23 Fruit a drupe with 2-4 pyrenes; branches round or nearly so in ×-section; leaves > 2 cm long; [natives, of peninsular FL]
............ ............ ............ ......22 Petals fused, 4-5, white, bright yellow, lilac, or pink; stamens either (1-) 2 (-4) or 10; fruit either a capsule or a 1-seeded drupe.
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Perianth 5-merous; corolla pink; stamens 10; fruit a 5-locular capsule
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Perianth 4-merous; corolla white, bright yellow, or lilac; stamens (1-) 2 (-4); fruit either a 1-seeded drupe or a 2-locular capsule

Key N1: herbaceous dicots with mainly basal, compound leaves

Copy permalink to share | Check for keys that lead to this key

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 alien, 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 N2: herbaceous dicots with mainly basal, simple leaves

Copy permalink to share | Check for keys that lead to this key

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

Copy permalink to share | Check for keys that lead to this key

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 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; [Cannabis] CANNABACEAE}
....3 Leaflets obviously and sharply serrate; pistils 5-many; fruit an aggregate of achenes, drupelets, or follicles.
......4 Leaflets 7-11, slightly pedate in their arrangement, evergreen
......4 Leaflets 3-5, palmate, deciduous
....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.
........5 Corolla bilaterally symmetrical; petals 5; fruit a legume; carpel 1
........5 Corolla radially symmetrical; petals 4 or 5; fruit either an elongate capsule or a berry; carpels 1, 2, or 5.
..........6 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
..........6 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.
............ 7 Carpels 2; fruit a red berry; petals connate, purplish-blue
............ 7 Carpel 1; fruit a capsule; petals separate, white, pink, or yellow.
............ ..8 Stem leaves 1-3, alternate [or whorled or opposite]; leaflets 3, irregularly serrate, lacerate, or additionally divided or lobed; fruit a silique; carpels 2
............ ..8 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).
............ ....9 Inflorescence an involucrate head subtended by phyllaries, heads solitary or many, variously arrayed in secondary inflorescences; fruit a cypsela; ovary inferior
............ ....9 Inflorescence various, but not as above; fruit various, not as above; ovary superior.
............ ......10 Leaves 1-pinnately compound (all leaflets attached to a central rachis).
............ ........11 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
............ ........11 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).
............ ..........12 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)
............ ..........12 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.
............ ............ ..14 Petals 4, distinct; stamens 6; inflorescence a terminal raceme; fruit a silique/silicle
............ ............ ..14 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).
............ ............ ....15 Flowers slightly bilaterally symmetrical (2 of the petals of different size than the other 3); fruit a capsular schizocarp of 5 mericarps; carpels 5
............ ............ ....15 Flowers radially symmetrical; fruit either a loculicidal capsule or a berry; carpels 2 or 3.
............ ............ ......16 Fruit a berry; fresh plant rankly fragrant
............ ............ ......16 Fruit a capsule; fresh plant not aromatic.
............ ............ ........17 Capsule 2-valvate; carpels 2; leaflets prominently serrate or with some tooth-like sublobes
............ ............ ........17 Capsule 3-valvate; carpels 3; leaflets with entire margins
............ ......10 Leaves more complexly compound (with 2 or more orders of branching, some leaflets at least attached to second-order branches from the rachis).
............ ............ ..........18 Leaves 2× even-pinnate; flowers in spikes or spherical heads; {XXXX}
............ ............ ..........18 Leaves either 2× odd-pinnate or more complexly 2-4× ternately or ternately-pinnately compound; {YYYY}.
............ ............ ............ 19 Leaf segments linear, less than 2 mm wide.
............ ............ ............ ..20 Inflorescence an umbel; ovary inferior, of 2 fused carpels; fruit a schizocarp of 2 mericarps
............ ............ ............ ..20 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.
............ ............ ............ ....21 Ovary of 2 fused carpels; fruit a capsule (1-seeded and indehiscent in Fumaria)
............ ............ ............ ....21 Ovary of 1-5or many distinct 1-carpellate pistils; fruit an aggregate of follicles or achenes
............ ............ ............ 19 Leaf segments broader, lanceolate, ovate, or elliptic, > 5 mm wide.
............ ............ ............ ......22 Herbaceous vine climbing by axillary tendrils; stamens 8
............ ............ ............ ......22 Erect or sprawling herb; stamens 5-6 or >15.
............ ............ ............ ........23 Leaflets sharply serrate, with usually many teeth on each leaflet side, the total number of “points” per leaflet > 10.
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Inflorescence an umbel; ovary inferior, of 2 fused carpels; fruit a schizocarp of 2 mericarps; inflorescence an umbel
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Inflorescence a panicle or raceme; ovary superior, of 1-8 carpels; fruit an aggregate of follicles, a single follicle, or an indeshiscent berry-like fruit.
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Flowers bisexual; carpels 1-8; fruit an aggregate of follicles, a single follicle, or an indeshiscent berry-like fruit
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Flowers unisexual; carpels (in pistillate flowers) of 3 (-5) carpels; fruit an aggregate of follicles
............ ............ ............ ........23 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.
............ ............ ............ ............ ..26 Inflorescence an umbel; ovary inferior, of 2 fused carpels; fruit a schizocarp of 2 mericarps
............ ............ ............ ............ ..26 Inflorescence a raceme, panicle, or cyme; ovary superior, of either 1-2 fused carpels or of many separate 1-carpellate pistils.
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Perianth bilaterally symmetrical, the corolla of 4 fused petals; plant a scandent vine or erect or sprawling herb
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Perianth radially symmetrical, of 1-5 whorls of separate perianth parts; plant an erect herb.
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 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
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 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 P1: herbaceous dicots with alternate, simple, and unlobed leaves on the stem

Copy permalink to share | Check for keys that lead to this key

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 aliens in suburban woodlands]
........5 Leaf teeth sharp to crenate, not lobe-like, regular, many (mostly > 10 per leaf side).
............ 7 Leaf bases cuneate
............ 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; [alien 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 alien (Boehmeria nivea) or a native of moist forests (Boehmeria cylindrica, Laportea)]
......4 Leaf margins entire.
............ ......10 Ovary inferior or half-inferior.
............ ........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 aliens].
............ ............ 13 Inflorescence of a single axillary flower
............ ............ 13 Inflorescence terminal, spikelike
............ ......10 Ovary superior.
............ ............ ..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.
............ ............ ............ 19 Inflorescence an terminal involucrate cluster; flowers bisexual; stamens 9
............ ............ ............ 19 Inflorescence axillary, or a terminal panicle or raceme that is not involucrate; stamens 3-6.
............ ............ ............ ..20 Ovary 3-locular; styles 3, each bifid; fruit a capsule, with 6 seeds
............ ............ ............ ..20 Ovary 1-locular; styles 1-3, not bifid; fruit a utricle or achene (1-seeded).
............ ............ ............ ....21 Styles 1, stigma 1; flowers unisexual
............ ............ ............ ....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).
............ ............ ............ ........23 Ovary inferior or half-inferior.
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Inflorescence leaf-opposed, a dense, cylindrical spike
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Inflorescence various, either a terminal head, or axillary and solitary, or variously axillary or terminal and more diffuse.
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Petals 5; stamens 5; inflorescence a head; fruit a schizocarp of 2 mericarps
............ ............ ............ ............ ....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 distinct, 5; carpels 3; fruit a 3-loculed capsule
............ ............ ............ ............ ..........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.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....33 Stamens 10, monadelphous or diadelphous; fruit a legume
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 31 Stamens 4-5, less than the number (5) of the petals; fruit a 2-5-carpellate capsule.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........35 Pistil 5-carpellate; capsule 5-locular, explosively dehiscent; inflorescence axillary, small clusters of flowers
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........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
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........36 Fruit > 2-seeded, dehiscent; sepals sepaloid, green; petals not dimorphic.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 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 sparesly 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]
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........41 Pistils many; inflorescence of solitary flowers, or diffuse.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......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).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......46 Flowers unisexual; leaf vestiture of peltate scales and/or stellate hairs
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........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; corolla yellow or blue; capsule either 10-locular and septicidal or 1-locular (with 3 carpels) and loculicidal.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........48 Stamens (5-) 10, 15, 20, 30 (-many); corolla white, pink, yellow, or reddish; capsule 3-, 5- (-10)-locular, loculicidal.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..50 Stamens (5-) 10, 15, 20, 30 (-many); corolla yellow or reddish; capsule 3 (-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).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......52 Ovary slightly to deeply 2-4-lobed; fruit a schizocarp of 4 mericarps or a drupe.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........53 Ovary slightly 2-4-lobed, or not at all lobed; style terminal or reduced to a sessile terminal stigma; fruit a schizocarp of 4 mericarps, or a drupe
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........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.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....57 Leaves cuneate to rounded at the base; plant an erect, sprawling, or reclining herb (twining in Solanum dulcamara in SOLANACEAE).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........59 Corolla lobes longer than the fused corolla cup, blue, pink, or white; styles 2; herbage lacking stipitate glands; fresh plants not aromatic.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........60 Flowers solitary or paired in the leaf axils; capsule cylindrical; leaves 0.5-8 cm long
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........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
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 61 Flowers either solitary and obviously pedicelled, or several in an axillary or lateral inflorescence.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....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

Copy permalink to share | Check for keys that lead to this key

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

Key P3: herbaceous dicots with alternate, simple, and pinnately lobed leaves on the stem

Copy permalink to share | Check for keys that lead to this key

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, with only undifferentiated tepals; flowers many and small, greenish or brownish, inconspicuous individually; inflorescence of glomerules that are usually further aggregated into racemes or panicles; fruit an achene or utricle
..2 Perianth biseriate, both sepals and petals present and differentiated (except uniseriate and of 2 white to cream-colored sepals 5-10 mm long in Macleaya in PAPAVERACEAE); flowers larger, usually with the petals prominently colored; inflorescence various, but not as above; fruit a capsule, silique/silicle, or a schizocarp of 2 mericarps.
....3 Corolla bilaterally symmetrical and the petals connate into a tube (or the corolla 2-lipped but the corolla lobes twisted so as to make the flower asymmetrical); stamens 4; fruit a 2-locular and loculicidal capsule opening by 2 valves
....3 Corolla radially symmetrical and either connate into a tube or distinct (except Reseda in RESEDACEAE, with bilateral symmetry but separate petals); stamens 5 or more; fruit a silique/silicle, a schizocarp of 4 mericarps, or a 1-, 3-, or 4-locular capsule (2-locular in Ipomoea in CONVOLVULACEAE and Glaucium in PAPAVERACEAE), opening variously.
......4 Ovary inferior; fruit either a schizocarp of 2 mericarps or a 4-locular capsule.
........5 Flowers 5-merous, aggregated into a head; fruit a schizocarp of 2 mericarps
........5 Flowers 4-merous, in a diffuse inflorescence; fruit a 4-locular capsule
......4 Ovary superior; fruit either a silique/silicle, or a 1-, 2-, or 3-locular capsule, or a berry.
..........6 Sepals and petals of different numbers, the sepals 2-3, the petals 0, 4, or 6; stamens many
..........6 Sepals and petals the same number, 4-8 each; stamens 5 or 6 (10-25 in Reseda in RESEDACEAE).
............ 7 Corolla bilaterally symmetrical; stamens 10-25
............ 7 Corolla radially symmetrical; stamens 5 or 6.
............ ..8 Petals 4, distinct; stamens 6; fruit a silique/silicle
............ ..8 Petals 5, connate into a tube; stamens 5; fruit either a capsule or a berry.
............ ....9 Plant a twining vine.
............ ......10 Corolla with a long tube, much longer than the lobes, scarlet, white, pink, or blue; leaves shallowly to deeply pinnately parted into 3-many lobes
............ ......10 Corolla with a short tube, the lobes longer than the tube, purplish; leaves with a single large terminal l lobe, and 2 small basal lobes (these almost separate as leaflets)
............ ....9 Plant an erect or sprawling herb.
............ ........11 Fruit a capsule, 1-locular; corolla white, pink, lavender, or blue, the tube short (< 4 mm long), the lobes flaring, the corolla < 15 mm long or wide
............ ........11 Fruit either a capsule, 2- or-3 locular, or a berry; corolla scarlet, blue, white, yellow, greenish-yellow, or purple, the tube long (>10 mm long) and cylindrical, the corolla > 10 mm long or wide.
............ ..........12 Stigmas 3; fruit a capsule with 3 valves; {XXXX}
............ ..........12 Stigmas 2; fruit either a capsule with 2 valves or a berry; {YYYY}

Key Q: herbaceous dicots with whorled leaves on the stem {add [Platycodon] CAMPANULACEAE}

Copy permalink to share | Check for keys that lead to this key

1 Cauline leaves palmately compound.
..2 Cauline leaves essentially sessile, and also palmately cleft to the base, and further lacerately divided into linear or oblanceolate segments
..2 Cauline leaves petiolate, with 3-5, sessile or petiolulate, ovate, elliptic, or obovate leaflets (these serrate and sometimes with additional lobes).
....3 Inflorescence a spherical umbel of many flowers; fruit a drupe with 2-3 seeds; stem leaves 3-5
......4 Leaflets 3 (-5), sessile or subsessile, the petiolules 0-3 mm long; larger leaflets 4-8 cm long, 0.5-2.5 cm wide, averaging about 2.5× as long as wide, the apex obtuse to acute; fruit yellow-green when ripe, longitudinally winged and ribbed in ×-section; petals white (rarely tinged with pink); inflorescence nodding in bud; underground storage organ a spherical tuber
......4 Leaflets (3-) 5, petiolulate, the petiolules (7-) 10-25 mm long; larger leaflets 6-15 cm long, 3.5-7 cm wide, averaging about 1.8× as long as wide, the apex acuminate; fruit bright red when ripe, smoothly elliptical in ×-section; petals light green; inflorescence erect in bud; underground storage organ an +/- elongate root, this vertical or horizontal, and sometimes branched
....3 Inflorescence of single terminal flowers on the 1-several branches; fruit an aggregate of achenes; stem leaves 3
1 Cauline leaves simple.
........5 Inflorescence an involucrate head subtended by phyllaries, heads solitary or many, variously arrayed in secondary inflorescences; fruit a cypsela
........5 Inflorescence various, but not as above; fruit various, not as above (sometimes the flowers tightly grouped, but then with other features differing, such as stamens 4, or green calyx present, or fruit a schizocarp of mericarps, etc.).
..........6 Fruit a 3-lobed, 3-locular capsule; 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
..........6 Fruit various, not as above; inflorescence not a cyathium (and staminate or bisexual flowers almost always with > 1 stamen); fresh plants lacking milky juice.
............ 7 Leaves succulent, the terminal whorls closely juxtaposed; pistils 4-5; fruit an aggregate of follicles
............ 7 Leaves herbaceous, thin in texture, whorls separated; pistil 1, of 2-5 fused carpels; fruit a capsule, achene, or drupe.
............ ..8 Larger whorled leaves on a plant < 10 mm wide [some taxa keyed here and under the second lead].
............ ....9 Inflorescence a cymule, either axillary, or axillary and terminal; ovary inferior.
............ ......10 Leaves markedly variable in shape or size in each whorl; fruit a capsule; petals 5
............ ......10 Leaves similar in size and shape in each whorl; fruit dry or fleshy, indehiscent; petals (3-) 4
............ ....9 Inflorescence a terminal raceme, panicle, spike, cyme, corymb, or umbel; ovary superior.
............ ........11 Corolla bilaterally symmetrical, the petals connate; carpels 2; stamens 4, 6, or 8.
............ ..........12 Stamens 4; corolla blue or almost white
............ ..........12 Stamens 6 or 8; corolla pink or yellow
............ ........11 Corolla radially symmetrical, the petals separate; carpels 2, 3, or 5; stamens 5, 10, or many.
............ ............ 13 Inflorescence an axillary umbel; leaves narrowly linear and more than 10× as long as wide, > 20 mm long and < 2 mm wide; whorls of 3-6 leaves
............ ............ 13 Inflorescence a terminal cyme, raceme, panicle, or umbel; leaves as above, or broader in shape, narrower, or shorter; whorls of 3-16 leaves.
............ ............ ..14 Inflorescence a terminal cyme or umbel; corolla white; carpels 5.
............ ............ ....15 Leaves narrowly linear, 12-16 in each whorl; stamens 5
............ ............ ....15 Leaves ovate or obovate, 3 (-4) in each whorl
............ ............ ..14 Inflorescence a terminal raceme or panicle; corolla reddish, maroon, or yellow.
............ ............ ......16 Corolla reddish or maroon
............ ..8 Larger whorled leaves on a plant > 10 mm wide.
............ ............ ........17 Inflorescence a spike; perianth absent; fruit a drupe
............ ............ ........17 Inflorescence various, but not a spike; perianth present; fruit various, but not a drupe.
............ ............ ..........18 Inflorescence of terminal involucrate clusters; perianth of 6 tepals; fruit an achene; stamens 9; [plants of very dry habitats]
............ ............ ..........18 Inflorescence various, but not as above; perianth of 2 whorls (the calyx often obsolete in Galium in RUBIACEAE), 3-, 4-, 5-, 6-, or 7-merous; stamens 2-7; [plants of dry-mesic to very wet habitats].
............ ............ ............ 19 Fruit dry or fleshy, indehiscent; petals (3-) 4; ovary inferior
............ ............ ............ 19 Fruit a capsule or follicle, dehiscent; petals 4-7; ovary superior.
............ ............ ............ ..20 Inflorescence an umbel; fresh plants with milky juice
............ ............ ............ ..20 Inflorescence not an umbel; fresh plants with clear juice.
............ ............ ............ ....21 Corolla pink-purple, 6-merous, the petals separate and borne on the edge of a hypanthium; stamens 8, 10, or 12; [plants of wetlands]
............ ............ ............ ....21 Corolla white, yellow, or greenish, 4-, 5-, or 7-merous, the petals fused at least basally into a tube (falling as a unit), not on a hypanthium; stamens 2, 4, 5, or 7; [plants of mesic habitats].
............ ............ ............ ......22 Stamens 4, 5, or 7; corolla radially symmetrical.
............ ............ ............ ........23 Petals yellowish-white, with prominent green streaks; biennial or monocarpic plant, 10-30 dm tall when fertile; leaves 15-35 cm long
............ ............ ............ ........23 Petals white or yellow; perennial plants, 1-15 dm tall; leaves 1-15 cm long.
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Leaves punctate; stem without swollen nodes
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Leaves not punctate; stem with swollen nodes

Key R: herbaceous dicots with opposite, compound leaves on the stem

Copy permalink to share | Check for keys that lead to this key

1 Inflorescence an involucrate head subtended by phyllaries, heads solitary or many, variously arrayed in secondary inflorescences; fruit a cypsela
1 Inflorescence various, but not as above; fruit various, not as above.
..2 Leaves pinnately compound.
....3 Leaves even-pinnate
....3 Leaves odd-pinnate.
......4 Plants vines, sclimbing or sprawling, the leaves often with tendril like petioles and leaf rachises; corolla 4-parted, radially symmetrical
......4 Plants not vines, more or less erect to arching and lacking adaptations for climbing; corolla 5-parted, radially or bilaterally symmetrical
........5 Plants often with a mix of mostly opposite, deeply 3-lobed leaves or trifoliate leaves (leaves sometimes simple); flowers pink or purplish-white, axillary; plants annual
........5 Plants typically with all leaves with > 3 leaflets; flowers primarily white, borne in dense terminal corymbs/cymes; plants perennial
..2 Leaves palmately compound.
..........6 Cauline leaves essentially sessile, and also palmately cleft to the base, and further lacerately divided into linear or oblanceolate segments
..........6 Cauline leaves petiolate, with 3-5, sessile or petiolulate, ovate, elliptic, or obovate leaflets (these serrate and sometimes with additional lobes).
............ 7 Plants annual; flowers typically unisexual and not showy, green; plants highly resinous and glandular; inflorescences variously arranged
............ 7 Plants perrenial; flowers radially symmetric, showy, variously colored; plants typically not strongly resinous or glandular; inflorescences terminal

Key S1: herbaceous dicots with opposite, simple, and unlobed leaves on the stem

Copy permalink to share | Check for keys that lead to this key

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. Pycnanthemum in LAMIACEAE, but then with other features differing, such as stamens 4, or green calyx present, or fruit a schizocarp of mericarps, etc.).
..2 Leaves scale-like, stems fleshy; flowers embedded in the fleshy stem, no perianth present; [saline environments (coastal or rarely inland)].
..2 Leaves small to large; stems not fleshy; flowers sessile or on pedicels; [collectively of many habitats, saline and not].
....3 Ovary inferior or partially inferior.
......4 Perianth of a single whorl (petals absent) (note that in Mirabilis in NYCTAGINACEAE the petaloid calyx is subtended by a 5-lobed fused set of involucral bracts).
........5 Leaves herbaceous, suborbicular, about as long as wide or wider than long; calyx 3- or 4-merous; stamens 4, 8, or 12.
..........6 Plant ascending, with a single node (2 leaves); leaves > 6 cm long and wide; calyx 3-merous, brown to yellowish; stamens 12
..........6 Plant creeping, with many nodes; leaves 3-15 mm long and wide; calyx 4-merous, yellow to greenish; stamens 4 or 8
........5 Leaves fleshy, linear, lanceolate, to broadly ovate, at least slightly longer than broad; calyx 5-merous; stamens 3, 5, or 10.
............ 7 Flowers axillary, sessile or nearly so, solitary or a few; petaloid sepals widely spreading, separate; leaves linear to oblanceolate; stamens 5 or 30-50
............ 7 Flowers in terminal cymose panicles; petaloid sepals connate into a narrow tube (reminiscent of the corolla of Ipomoea); leaves lanceolate, elliptic, ovate, or broadly ovate; stamens 3 or 5
......4 Perianth in 2 whorls (sepals and petals both present).
............ ..8 Petals distinct; inflorescence diffuse.
............ ....9 Leaves distinctly 3-veined from the base, the 3 veins converging again at the leaf apex
............ ....9 Leaves with prominently pinnate venation
............ ..8 Petals connate into a tube (at least basally); inflorescence often a head or dense terminal cyme (also axillary, or solitary on long peduncles).
............ ......10 Petals 5; stamens 3, 4, or 5
............ ........11 Creeping subshrub; flowers paired at tip of an upright peduncle
............ ........11 Upright herb; flowers in axils or terminal corymbs
............ ..........12 Flowers in terminal corymbs; fruit dry
............ ..........12 Flowers axillary; fruit fleshy
............ ......10 Petals 4 (or 6 or 8 in Richardia in RUBIACEAE); stamens 4, 6, or 8.
............ ............ 13 Inflorescence a head, subtended by 4 large bright white bracts
............ ............ 13 Inflorescence a head or more diffuse (see below), sometimes subtended by green bracts.
............ ............ ..14 Leaves serrate; corolla bilaterally symmetrical (especially the flowers near the outer edge of the head); inflorescence a head
............ ............ ..14 Leaves entire; corolla radially symmetrical; inflorescence a head or more diffuse (see below).
............ ............ ....15 Petals acute; flowers in terminal panicles, cymes, or panicles, or axillary; plant habit various, not simultaneously with all the characters below
............ ............ ....15 Petals broadly rounded; flowers axillary, solitary; plant a diffusely branched herb with linear leaves
....3 Ovary superior.
............ ............ ......16 Perianth of a single whorl (petals absent) or missing entirely (petals and sepals both absent). {key lead number needs adjusting}
............ ............ ........17 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
............ ............ ........17 Inflorescence not a cyathium (and staminate or bisexual flowers with > 1 stamen, except Callitriche in PLANTAGINACEAE); fresh plants lacking milky juice; fruit various, not as above.
............ ............ ..........18 Flowers 1 (or 2) in leaf axils; leaves entire.
............ ............ ............ 19 Flowers unisexual; sepals 0; flowers (staminate) with 1 stamen
............ ............ ............ 19 Flowers bisexual; sepals 4; flowers with 2, 4, or 6 stamens.
............ ............ ..........18 Flowers many, in axillary spikes, cymes, or glomerules, or in terminal spikes, heads, cymes, or panicles; leaves entire or serrate.
............ ............ ............ ....21 Fruit single-seeded, an achene or utricle; {YYYY}.
............ ............ ............ ......22 Leaves serrate, regularly and sharply so; plants with stinging hairs (or not)
............ ............ ............ ......22 Leaves entire, or with a few very obscure crenations (Iresine) or basally disposed rounded lobe-like teeth (Atriplex); plants without stinging hairs.
............ ............ ............ ........23 Leaves of a pair slightly to strongly different in size
............ ............ ............ ........23 Leaves of a pair the same size.
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Styles 1-2 (-3); leaves 2-30 mm long, 0.5-8 mm wide, linear or narrowly elliptic
............ ............ ............ ..........24 Style 1; leaves generally either longer than 30 mm, or wider than 8 mm (if linear and smaller than those dimensions, then fleshy).
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Tepals scarious; inflorescence of heads, spikes, or panicles
............ ............ ............ ............ 25 Tepals herbaceous; inflorescence of glomerules, these axillary or arrayed in spikes or panicles
............ ............ ......16 Perianth in 2 whorls (sepals and petals both present).
............ ............ ............ ............ ..26 Gynoecium of 4-many pistils, each 1-carpellate.
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Pistils 4-5, in a single whorl; stamens 4, 5, 8, or 10; fruit an aggregate of follicles
............ ............ ............ ............ ....27 Pistils many, spiral; stamens many; fruit an aggregate of plumose achenes
............ ............ ............ ............ ..26 Gynoecium either of 1 pistil (with 1 or more carpels), or of 2 pistils, united only by the style and stigma (APOCYNACEAE).
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Petals not at all connate, not even at their bases.
............ ............ ............ ............ ........29 Leaves with pellucid punctate glands (most easily visible with transmitted light); stamens often fascicled into 3, 4, or 5 fascicles; petals yellow or pinkish
............ ............ ............ ............ ........29 Leaves lacking pellucid punctate glands; stamens not fascicled; petals variously colored.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 31 Petals 3; sepals 5, dimorphic, the 2 outer sepals narrower than the 3 inner and concave sepals; stamens (3-) 5-15 (-25)
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 31 Petals 4-7; sepals 4-7, normally monomorphic; stamens 4, 5, 6, 8, 10, or 12 (or sometimes rarely 2 or 3).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..32 Capsule 2-5 (-6) locular; style 1; perianth 4-7-merous; stamens 4, 6, 8, 10, or 12
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..32 Capsule either 1-locular of 10-locular; styles 2-5; perianth 4-5-merous; stamens 4, 5, 8, or 10 (or rarely 2 or 3).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....33 Capsule 1-locular, dehiscent apically by teeth or valves; sepals connate into a tube or separate; styles 2-5; perianth 4-5-merous; stamens 4, 5, 8, or 10 (or rarely 2 or 3)
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....33 Capsule 10-locular (each of the 5 carpels divided at maturity), septicidal; sepals distinct or nearly so; styles 5, perianth 5-merous; stamens 5
............ ............ ............ ............ ......28 Petals connate at least for a short distance at their bases.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......34 Corolla radially symmetrical (or so slightly bilaterally symmetrical as to be mistakable as radially symmetrical); stamens as many as the corolla lobes (or 1 less in Ruellia in ACANTHACEAE, Buchnera in OROBANCHACEAE, Trichostema in LAMIACEAE, and Verbena in VERBENACEAE); carpels 2 or 3.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........35 Pistils 2, united only by the style and stigma; fruit a schizocarp of 2 1-carpellate follicles (often single by abortion); plant with milky juice when fresh (except Catharanthus); leaves entire
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........35 Pistil 1 (of 2-5 fused carpels); fruit either a 2-5-carpellate capsule or of 2 or 4 1-seeded nutlets derived from 2 carpels; plant lacking milky juice; leaves entire or serrate.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........36 Ovary and capsule 3-5-carpellate; capsule 3- or 1-locular.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..38 Inflorescence a terminal cyme; corolla salverform, with an elongated and very narrow tube, pink or white; capsule 3-locular
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..38 Inflorescence various but not cymose, of terminal or axillary racemes or panicles, or of solitary axillary flowers; corolla connate only at the base, the petals appearing nearly separate (not salverform); capsule 1-locular
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........36 Ovary and capsule 2-carpellate; fruit either a 2-locular capsule or of 2 or 4 1-seeded nutlets derived from 2 carpels.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....39 Stamens 4-12, the same number as the corolla lobes; corolla (and the flower as a whole) strictly radially symmetrical.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......40 Capsule septicidal; corolla white, pink, blue, yellowish white, or greenish white; inflorescence either a terminal or axillary cyme, or a terminal panicle or raceme, or a terminal or axillary cyme reduced to 1 or a few flowers
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......40 Capsule loculicidal and also deeply 2-lobed; corolla white, pink, or scarlet with a yellow interior; inflorescence of cymosely arranged spikes
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....39 Stamens either 4, 1 fewer than the 5 corolla lobes, or 2 (with 2 staminodes); corolla usually slightly bilaterally symmetrical (the flower as a whole made bilaterally symmetrical by the 2 or 4 stamens).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........41 Leaves entire; corolla tube flaring for all of its length
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........42 Fruit a schizocarp of 4 1-seeded nutlets; inflorescence terminal, of cymes; corolla ca. 5 mm long; leaves prominently 3-veined
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........42 Fruit a capsule; inflorescence axillary, of cymes or clusters (often reduced to a solitary flower); corolla > 12 mm long; leaves with single primary vein
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........41 Leaves serrate; corolla salverform, the tube narrow and nearly the same diameter for most of its length; inflorescence a terminal spike, raceme, raceme of racemes, or head.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 43 Fruit a 2-locular capsule; stamens inserted near the base of the corolla tube
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 43 Fruit a schizocarp of 4 mericarps; stamens inserted near or above the middle of the corolla tube
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......34 Corolla bilaterally symmetrical (or the corolla 2-lipped but the corolla lobes twisted so as to make the flower asymmetrical); fertile stamens fewer than the corolla lobes (except Plantago in PLANTAGINACEAE, which is equal, with 4 each; a few genera have a 5th, sterile, stamen which is obviously different in form than the 4 fertile stamens) (note that many corollas are bilabiate and the number of corolla lobes, 4 or 5, may be difficult to interpret); carpels 2.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..44 Carpels 2, each carpel slightly to deeply lobed, separating at maturity into 4 half-carpellate units (not separating in Phyla in VERBENACEAE); fruit a schizocarp of 4 mericarps (or 2 nutlets in Phyla in VERBENACEAE).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....45 Inflorescence a thyrse, verticillaster, or terminal cyme, the flowers borne in cymose lateral branches; corolla strongly bilaterally symmetrical (rarely nearly radially symmetrical); stems square in ×-section (or sometimes rounded, especially on older growth); fresh plants often (but not always) aromatic
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....45 Inflorescence of spikes, racemes, or heads, the flowers or fruits single at nodes; corolla often nearly radially symmetrical; stems rounded in X-section (rarely square); fresh plants usually not aromatic
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........47 Corolla 4 lobed, almost radially symmetrical; corolla scarious, white, or bluish
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........47 Corolla 4-5-lobed, either strongly bilabiate or salverform (Pseuderanthemum in ACANTHACEAE); white, blue, or yellow.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........48 Inflorescence of solitary (rarely 2) axillary flower. {add [Hypoestes] ACANTHACEAE}
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..50 Corolla barely bilaterally symmetrical, the lobes about as long as the tube; outer sepals ovate, much wider than the inner sepals
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..50 Corolla distinctly bilabiate, the lobes shorter than the tube; sepals of nearly the same width.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......52 Corolla 5-lobed, distinctly bilabiate or in some nearly radially symmetrical; corolla colored.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........53 Flowers in terminal racemes, panicles, or spikes, the inflorescence not interspersed with large, leaf-like bracts.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........54 Sepals connate for at least 0.3× their length to form a tube (this cup-like and flaring in Scrophularia in SCROPHULARIACEAE).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 55 Inflorescence a diffuse panicle; corolla 5-11 mm long, reddish-brown (sometimes with some yellow); fruit a septicidal capsule
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ 55 Inflorescence of 1 or more terminal (and sometimes upper axillary) spikes or racemes; corolla 10-50 mm long (6-8 mm long in Phryma in PHRYMACEAE), white, pink, blue, purple, or yellow; fruit either a loculicidal capsule (OROBANCHACEAE) or a single seeded achene (Phryma in PHRYMACEAE).
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..56 Corolla 6-8 mm long, white to pale pink; fruit a 1-seeded achene contained in the accrescent calyx, this “lopping down” against the inflorescence axis
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........53 Flowers axillary and solitary, borne in the axils of normally-sized leaves or somewhat reduced but still large and leaf-like bracts [some taxa keyed here and below].
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........59 Leaves entire, either mostly larger or smaller [see below]; plant not blackening on drying
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........60 Leaves 0.6-2.8 cm long, round, obovate, or broadly elliptic, < 1.8× as long as wide; plants creeping, ascending to 3 dm tall; [plants of wet places]
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........60 Leaves 3-30 cm long, narrowly elliptic to lanceolate, > 2× as long as wide; plants erect or the stems sprawling; [plants mostly of uplands]
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..62 Calyx lobes longer than the tube, or as long as the tube, corolla 25-50 mm long; plants usually blackening on drying
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..62 Calyx lobes shorter than the tube; corolla 14-22 mm long; plants not blackening on drying.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....63 Corolla red or orange, with a very narrow, cylindrical tube, the lobes then flaring into a limb about 1 cm across; plants blackening on drying; [rare alien, in crop fields, a noxious hemiparasitic weed under quarantine]
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ....63 Corolla yellow, not narrowly cylindrical, the lower lip arched; plants not blackening on drying; [rare, in seepage wetlands]
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......64 Corolla pink (sometimes almost white), often lined with yellow inside; leaves narrowly linear, often filiform (except lanceolate in A. auriculata); plants usually blackening on drying (some species do not); corolla not strongly bilabiate
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ......64 Corolla white, blue, or combinations of blue and white (sometimes with some yellow markings); leaves broader, mostly lanceolate; plants not blackening on drying; corolla strongly bilabiate.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ........65 Upper lip of the corolla not hooded and enclosing the anthers; plants not blackening on drying.
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........66 Corolla blue; lower lip of the corolla arched upwards into the throat; plants perennial from rhizomes or crowns, 3-13 dm tall
............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ............ ..........66 Corolla bicolored, the upper lip white or very pale blue, the lower lip bright blue; lower lip of the corolla folded downward into a pouch enfolding the anthers; plants annuals, 0.5-4 dm tall

Key S2: herbaceous dicots with opposite, simple, and palmately lobed leaves on the stem {add [Humulus] CANNABINACEAE}

Copy permalink to share | Check for keys that lead to this key

1 Leaf lobes very narrow, < 3 mm wide; 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 Leaf lobes broad, >20 mm wide; inflorescence, flower, and fruit structure various, but not with the combination of features as above.
..2 Leaves >4 per above-ground stem; perianth 5-merous; flowers bilaterally symmetrical, the corolla with connate petals, lavender-white with yellow markings in the throat; fruit a large curved capsule
..2 Leaves 1-2 per above-ground stem; perianth 3-merous; flowers radially symmetrical, the corolla absent or with distinct petals, white; fruit a berry or aggregate of berries.
....3 Leaves with peltate petiole attachment; carpel 1; petals present, white
....3 Leaves with petiole attached marginally; carpels many, as separate pistils; petals absent

Key S3: herbaceous dicots with opposite, simple, and pinnately lobed leaves on the stem

Copy permalink to share | Check for keys that lead to this key

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 tightly grouped, but then with other features differing, such as stamens 4, or green calyx present, or fruit a schizocarp of mericarps, etc.).
..2 Flowers tiny, individually inconspicuous; perianth absent or vestigial; fruit a utricle
..2 Flowers larger, individually conspicuous; perianth present, the petals or sepals brightly colored; fruit a capsule (or aggregate of achenes in Clematis in RANUNCULACEAE or schizocarp of 4 mericarps in Glandularia in VERBENACEAE).
....3 Flowers radially symmetrical; stamens 5 or many; fruit a capsule or aggregate of achenes.
......4 Stamens 5; fruit a capsule
......4 Stamens many; fruit an aggregate of plumose achenes
....3 Flowers bilaterally symmetrical (sometimes only slightly so); stamens 4 (or 2 in Veronica in PLANTAGINACEAE); fruit a capsule or schizocarp of mericarps.
........5 Inflorescence of cymosely arranged spikes or heads; fruit a schizocarp of 4 nutlets
........5 Inflorescence of solitary axillary flowers or terminal racemes.
..........6 Corolla yellow, orange, or red; plants often drying black (but not Striga); sepals connate into a tube at least 1/3 as long as the corolla lobes; calyx 5-merous
..........6 Corolla white, pink, lavender, or blue; plants not drying black; sepals distinct or only shortly connate into a short tube, the calyx lobes much longer than the tube; calyx 5- or 4-merous
Cite as...