E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Dodecatheon pulchellum var. macrocarpum (A.Gray) Reveal
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Primulaceae

Introduction to Vascular Plants

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E-Flora BC Static Map
Distribution of Dodecatheon pulchellum var. macrocarpum
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Species Information

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PDPRI030D7
PDPRI030DA


General:
Plants fibrous-rooted; roots whitish; bulblets not present.
Stems:
Scapes 10-45 (60) cm, glabrous to glandular-pubescent.
Leaves:
Leaves oblanceolate or spatulate to ovate, tapering gradually to the short broadly-winged petiole, entire (rarely slightly toothed), glabrous to glandular-pubescent, 4-25 cm.
Flowers:
Inflorescences of 2-15 (22) flowers; involucral bracts lanceolate, 3-15 mm, glabrous to glandular-pubescent. Flowers long-stalked; pedicels 1-5 (7) cm, glabrous to glandular-pubescent; corolla tube and throat yellow (fading to white), with thin, red, wavy ring around the throat; corolla lobes pink to magenta (rarely white), (5) 7-20 mm; filaments connate, yellow (rarely tinged with pink); connective smooth, yellowish to reddish-purple; pollen sacs dark reddish-purple or reddish to partially or completely yellow; stigma not enlarged relative to the style; calyx green, usually speckled with purple, glabrous to glandular-pubescent, 4-8 mm. Flowering Apr-Jun (to Jul at high elevations).
Fruits:
Capsules tan, cylindric-ovoid, 5-14 (20) mm, glabrous to glandular-pubescent, opening by 5 valves.

Source: The Vascular Flora of British Columbia, draft 2014.
Author: Jamie Fenneman

Habitat / Range

Mesic to wet meadows, estuaries, seeps, bluffs, coastal headlands, cliffs, slopes, streambanks, marshes, grasslands, sagebrush steppe, and saline or alkaline flats in the lowland, steppe, montane, subalpine, and alpine zones. Frequent in coastal BC, common in sc and se BC; AK east to NWT, south to n Mexico.

Source: The Vascular Flora of British Columbia, draft 2014.
Author: Jamie Fenneman

Additional Notes

This is the most widespread and variable species of Dodecatheon in B.C., and the only member of the genus with multiple infraspecific taxa in the province. There is great variation in many morphological features in this species, much of which is environmentally induced, which can render some specimens difficult to place within the existing infraspecific framework. Fortunately, however, the three varieties overlap in distribution only locally (var. cusickii and var. pulchellum overlap in southeastern B.C.) and, where they overlap, the vast majority of specimens maintain their distinguishing characteristics and are easily identified. The three varieties that are recognized for B.C. are distinguished as follows:

1a. Plants extensively glandular-pubescent on the leaves, scapes, involucral bracts, pedicels, and calyces; plants of sc and se BC…...………………. …………………………………..……….........................................................................var. cusickii (Greene) Reveal

1b. Plants usually glabrous (never glandular-pubescent); plants of both coastal and interior BC........................................................................…2

2a. Pollen sacs entirely dark reddish-purple; plants restricted to se and (rarely) sc B.C…...………...……….……...…...……..var. pulchellum

2b. Pollen sacs whitish to yellowish, at least towards the apex; plants strictly coastal..……………….….var. macrocarpum (A.Gray) Reveal

The diploid var. cusickii (= D. cusickii, D. puberulum) is the common and widespread variety of dry climates in the southern interior, where it is most abundant in the south-central interior. It is less frequent in southeastern B.C., where it occurs alongside the similarly diploid var. pulchellum. It tends to occur on drier upland habitats than var. pulchellum, such as grasslands and sagebrush steppe, although it typically occurs in moist draws or meadows within these dry habitats. It is most common at low elevations but also extends locally into subalpine and alpine habitats, especially along the eastern flanks of the Coast-Cascade Ranges. It is usually easily distinguished from the other varieties by its extensive, usually dense glandular pubescence throughout, especially on the upper scape, involucral bracts, pedicels, and calyces. Some populations (e.g., Mount Kobau) have this glandular pubescence greatly reduced, however, so the presence of gland-bearing hairs may be difficult to determine without close inspection on some specimens. It is unclear if such populations are merely inconspicuously glandular forms of var. cusickii or if there is some introgression (either current or historical) with var. pulchellum. The glabrous var. pulchellum is locally frequent in southeastern B.C. but becomes rare and scattered in south-central B.C. It is predominately a species of low elevation habitats throughout its distribution, although occasional subalpine or alpine populations of small, depauperate plants occur locally. These alpine forms have been named var. watsonii by some authors but, as it occurs somewhat sporadically within the range of var. pulchellum, and appears to differ only in overall size, most recent authors are hesitant to recognize it; it is presumably a response to the extreme growing conditions at high elevations. The polyploid (usually tetraploid) var. macrocarpum (= D. pulchellum ssp. alaskanum, D. pulchellum ssp. superbum) ranges along the coast from Alaska to Oregon, and it can be difficult to distinguish morphologically from the var. pulchellum due to variation in the colour of the pollen sacs in both varieties; herbarium specimens can be particularly hard to identify as the dark pollen sacs of var. pulchellum tend to fade and become yellowish (thus approaching var. macrocarpum) with age. Fortunately, these two varieties occupy different geographic ranges (var. macrocarpum along the coast, var. pulchellum in the southeastern [rarely south-central] interior) and never come into contact, so any specimens of known origin should be easily placed into one or the other variety. A population of small, depauperate plants on Mount Arrowsmith on southern Vancouver Island has generally been attributed to var. pulchellum or var. watsonii by most authors; however, as this population is tetraploid rather than diploid (Suttill and Allen 1992) and is considerably disjunct from any other populations of var. pulchellum, it is best considered a depauperate alpine population of var. macrocarpum. Variety macrocarpum is otherwise generally associated with low elevation habitats, especially those along the immediate seacoast such as seaside meadows, estuaries, and coastal headlands.

Source: The Vascular Flora of British Columbia, draft 2014
Author: Jamie Fenneman

Family Information

Primulaceae:

Annual, biennial, or perennial forbs; scapose; from fibrous roots, short rhizome, or branched caudex, occasionally mat-forming or cespitose. Scapes ascending to erect, solitary or several per plant, unbranched. Leaves all basal, often rosulate, simple, unlobed, entire to toothed, subsessile to stalked, glabrous to pubescent, sometime glandular. Inflorescence a terminal, bracteate umbel, or flowers solitary. Flowers radially symmetric, 5-merous, bisexual, stalked; corolla campanulate or tubular to salviform, lobes sometimes sharply reflexed, usually whitish or pinkish to deep magenta, 4- to 5-lobed; calyces 4- to 5-lobed; stamens 5; filaments distinct or partially connate; ovary superior; style 1. Fruits 5-chambered dehiscent capsules, valvate to circumcissile. Genera 20, species ca. 600 (4 genera, 15 spp. in B.C.). Widespread in arctic, temperate, and subtropical regions of the northern hemisphere; disjunct in equatorial regions (e.g., e Africa, Indonesia) and in the southern hemisphere (e.g., s South America).

Non-scapose genera that were formerly included in Primulaceae ( Anagallis, Glaux, Lysimachia, Trientalis) have now been moved to Myrsinaceae (Källersjö et al. 2000, Trift et al. 2002, Cholewa and Kelso 2009). Many species in this family have a pronounced association with calcareous environments and are subsequently rather locally distributed within the province. Primulaceae contains a number of very showy species, and several genera have become important ornamentals in the horticultural trade (e.g., Primula, Dodecatheon).

Key to the Genera of Primulaceae

1a. Corolla lobes >2 times as long as the tube, sharply reflexed; stamens far exserted; filaments often at least partially connate (distinct in some species) .........................................................................Dodecatheon

1b. Corolla lobes less than twice as long as the tube, not reflexed; stamens included; filaments never connate…………………….........................2

2a. Calyces keeled (at least on the tube); plants densely cespitose (cushion-like) or mat-forming perennials with clusters of leaves at the bases of the scapes (rarely taprooted biennials), corollas rose-pink (fading to lavender, rarely to whitish).…...............................................Douglasia

2b. Calyces not keeled or only weakly keeled in fruit; plants taprooted annuals or perennials from fibrous roots or short rhizomes, or if mat-forming perennials (i.e., Androsace chamaejasme), then corollas white or pink-tinged with a yellow or pink throat..……………………….……………………………………………………………………………………...................................3

3a. Corollas constricted at the throat, magenta to lavender (rarely white), usually >7 mm across; plants never densely grey-hairy… ………………………………………………………...…………………………………………………..................................................Primula

3b. Corollas not constricted at the throat, white (sometimes fading pinkish in A. chamaejasme), usually <5 mm across (if >5 mm, then plants densely grey-hairy)…….……….......................................................……Androsace


Source: The Vascular Flora of British Columbia, draft 2014.
Author: Jamie Fenneman

Genus Information

Scapose, fibrous-rooted or short-rhizomatous perennial herbs, sometimes with numerous rice-like bulblets at the bases of the leaves. Scapes erect, solitary. Leaves all basal, rosulate, petiolate, simple, glabrous to glandular-hairy. Inflorescences terminal, bracteate umbellate or flowers solitary. Flowers long-stalked, the pedicels usually recurved (longer and more erect in fruit); corollas pink or white, tubular, usually white or yellow at the throat, with 4-5 long reflexed lobes; stamens well-exserted, usually dark purplish-black or reddish-purple, with short yellow filaments and anthers sometimes united at the base; ovary superior; calyces tubular, not keeled, glabrous or minutely glandular, 5-lobed, lobes spreading or reflexed and usually exceeding the tube. Capsules ovoid to cylindrical, exceeding the calyx, thin-walled, circumcissile and/or opening by five apical slits. 17 spp. (6 spp. in B.C.); North America, Mexico, e Asia.

The greatest diversity of species in this genus is found in western North America. Recent molecular-genetic research has convincingly demonstrated that Dodecatheon is derived from within Primula (specifically, from Primula subg. Auriculastrum) and therefore should be included within that genus to preserve its monophyly (Mast et al. 2004, Mast and Reveal 2007, Reveal 2009). It is retained as distinct here, however, due to its highly distinctive and consistent morphology, although nomenclatural combinations within Primula are provided for use if preferred. The evolution of Dodecatheon from within Primula subg. Auriculastrum has apparently been facilitated through an adaptation to buzz pollination in Dodecatheon (Mast et al. 2004). Species boundaries are not always sharply defined in this genus, and this is exacerbated by the tendency of populations to exhibit considerable vegetative plasticity in response to factors such as moisture levels, elevation, aspect, competing vegetation, and season. In addition, some species (i.e., D. pulchellum, D. conjugens) show significant geographic variation in the Pacific Northwest, which can blur the distinctions between the infraspecific taxa. Close investigation of the characteristics of the stigmas and filaments in Dodecatheon may be required for conclusive identification of some specimens, and these characters can be hard to observe in poorly-pressed specimens; the texture of the connective (the flattened portion of the anther between the pollen sacs) is of particular importance.


Source: The Vascular Flora of British Columbia, draft 2014.
Author: Jamie Fenneman

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

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