Data mode


Sign up

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 to Lechea

Copy permalink to share

1 Flowers and fruits mostly borne in clusters of 2s and 3s (occasionally solitary), usually on bent, reflexed pedicels; leaves pubescent on both surfaces; cauline stems usually with appressed pubescence (basal shoots are villous); outer slender sepals shorter than the broad inner sepals; [of peninsular FL]
1 Flowers and fruits borne singly (separate, not fascicled), usually on straight pedicels; usually on straight pedicels; leaves either pubescent on both surfaces or glabrous; cauline stems glabrous, villous, or with appressed pubescence; outer slender sepals shorter or longer than the broad inner sepals; [collectively widespread].
  2 Pubescence of the stems strongly spreading, not at all appressed; inner sepals carinate (U- or V-shaped in cross-section).
    3 Sepals uniformly pubescent; main stem leaves all < 1 cm long; inner broad sepals not bowed or only slightly so; capsule ellipsoid, indehiscent and distinctly exserted from calyx (obviously longer than the sepals); fruit usually 1-seeded; [of peninsular FL]
    3 Sepals sparsely pubescent to glabrous; main stem leaves usually > 1.5 cm long; inner broad sepals distinctly bowed (U or V-shaped in cross-section); capsule subglobose, splitting to 3 valves at maturity and about equal to the calyx in length or slightly exserted; fruit usually with 2-4 seeds; [widespread]
  2 Pubescence of the stems more or less appressed, usually strongly so; inner sepals shallowly curved in cross section, not carinate.
      4 Outer (slender) sepals equaling or exceeding the inner (broad) sepals.
        5 Pedicels 3-5 mm long, noticeably exceeding the length of the capsules (often 2x or more the length of the capsules); capsules secund, usually ± reflexed; [w. LA and e. TX]
        5 Pedicels 0.5-2 mm long (avg. 2 mm in L. racemulosa), shorter than or only slightly exceeding the length of the capsules; capsules secund or not, if secund then usually ascending; [collectively widespread, including LA and TX].
          6 Base of the fruiting calyx clearly differentiated into a hardened, shiny, yellowish (or light brown), obconic base 0.4-0.6 mm long, contrasting in color and texture with the darker colored and pubescent upper calyx; pedicels averaging 2 mm long (1.5-3.5 mm)
          6 Base of the fruiting calyx not conspicuously differentiated in texture and color from the upper calyx; pedicels averaging < 1.5 (-2) mm long.
             7 Capsule subglobose, completely enclosed by the sepals; leaves averaging > 10× as long as wide; plant short and usually densely bushy, < 3 dm tall
             7 Capsule ellipsoid to ovate, exserted, usually conspicuously so, the sepals not enclosing the summit of the fruit (but sometimes the outer sepals subequal to the capsule as in L. minor); leaves < 8× (usually < 6×) as long as wide; plant usually taller, 1-7 dm tall.
               8 Cauline leaves oval or elliptic, 8-15 mm long; outer sepals distinctly longer than the inner sepals, usually also longer than the capsule (or subequal)
               8 Cauline leaves linear to linear-subulate, 4-10 mm long; outer sepals subequal or slightly longer than inner sepals, shorter than capsule.
                 9 Outer sepals shorter than to barely longer than the inner sepals; capsules broadly oval-shaped, lacking obvious angles, ca. 1.5 mm long; cauline leaves 4-9 mm long; [se. NC to s. FL, w. to s. AL; various dry sandy habitats]
                 9 Outer sepals distinctly longer than the inner sepals; capsules ellipsoid-prismatic, 3-angled, ca. 2 mm long; cauline leaves ca. 10 mm long; [c. FL; scrub]
      4 Outer (slender) sepals shorter than the inner (broad) sepals.
                   10 Calyx very sparingly short-pubescent to glabrous; sepals spreading when in fruit; capsule globose and strongly exserted (1/3-1/2 of length); stems clearly woody at base with many wiry, woody branches; [of FL and s. GA]
                   10 Calyx sparsely to densely pubescent; sepals not spreading in fruit or only slightly so; mature capsule either ellipsoid and strongly exserted or oval to globose and included to slightly exserted; stems herbaceous (but can appear woody), dying to the base each year; [collectively widespread].
                     11 Capsules ellipsoid to narrowly pyriform, normally about 2× as long as wide (sometimes longer in L. racemulosa).
                       12 Stigmas not persistent; pedicels averaging about 2 mm long; base of the fruiting calyx clearly differentiated into a hardened, shiny, yellowish, obconic base 0.4-0.6 mm long, contrasting in color and texture with the rest of the calyx
                       12 Stigmas persistent, reddish-brown, conspicuous on the summit of the capsule; base of the fruiting calyx not conspicuously differentiated in texture and color
                     11 Capsules of a broader shape, ovoid, broadly ellipsoid, or subglobose, normally < 1.5× as long as wide.
                          13 Capsules obviously longer than the sepals.
                            14 Capsules densely racemose to tightly clustered towards tips of branches; pedicels 1.0-1.5 mm long, shorter than the calyx (1.6-1.8 mm long)
                            14 Capsules loosely racemose; pedicels 1.6-2.3 mm long, subequal to longer than the calyx (1.6-2 mm long).
                              15 Seeds 3 (-4); the calyx reddish purple at maturity; pedicels 1.8-2.3 mm long; [coastal plain, MA south to s. NJ, disjunct in dry sandy sites of the Great Lakes]
                              15 Seeds 2(-3); the calyx greenish purple at maturity; pedicels 1.6-2.2 mm long; [se. VA south to n. FL, west to e. LA, disjunct in Coffee County, TN]
                          13 Capsules almost completely enveloped by the sepals (shorter than or ± equaling calyx).
                                16 Leaves sparsely pubescent on the midrib and margin only beneath; branches and stems sparsely subappressed-pilose; seeds 4-6
                                16 Leaves appressed pubescent on the surface beneath; branches and stems moderately to densely gray-canescent; seeds 2-3.
                                  17 Leaves 1.5-3.0 (-4.0) mm wide; seeds 2-4 (-5); [of coastal dunes, from ne. NC northward OR midwestern prairies from s. IL north and westward].
                                    18 Capsules mostly 2-2.5 mm in diameter; flowering stems erect, 25-45 cm long; [s. IL north and westward]
                                    18 Capsules mostly 1.5-1.9 mm in diameter; flowering stems erect or procumbent to ascending, 15-35 cm long; [coastal plain, NB s. to ne. NC].
                                       19 Seeds 3-4 (-5), obscurely 3-sided and more-or-less resembling sections of an orange, or 2-sided and convex ventrally; main stems 1.0-2.5 mm diameter, strongly ascending-erect to subprocumbent; sepals strongly tinged maroon, occasionally dull brown; [of s. ME and c. NH south to DE]
                                       19 Seeds 2 (-3), 2-sided and flattish, concave ventrally; main stems 2.0-4.0 mm diameter, procumbent to ascending; sepals dull brown, occasionally tinged maroon; [of se. DE south to ne. NC]
                                  17 Leaves 0.3-1.0 mm wide; seeds either 3 or 4-6; [of longleaf pine sandhills and flatwoods, of se. NC southward].
                                         20 Calyx glabrous; stems and leaves completely glabrous; capsules (at maturity) very slightly exceeding the inner sepals; [FL peninsula: Collier County]
                                         20 Calyx densely appressed pilose; stems and undersurface of leaves (at least the midvein and the margins) appressed pilose; capsules (at maturity) equaling or slightly shorter than the closely enveloping inner sepals.
                                           21 Seeds 3; fruiting stems 2-4 dm tall; panicles densely congested; mature calyx lobes strongly rusty-colored; [of se. NC south to s. FL and west to s. MS]
                                           21 Seeds 4-6; fruiting stems 3-5 dm tall; panicles open and loose; mature calyx dark brown; [of ne. FL and Panhandle FL south to s. FL]
Cite as...