Caltha leptosepala subsp. howellii DC.
Ranunculaceae (Buttercup family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants


© Rosemary Taylor     (Photo ID #60574)


E-Flora BC Static Map

Distribution of Caltha leptosepala subsp. howellii
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Species Information

Perennial herb from a short, thick stem-base with fibrous roots; stems erect, 5-40 cm tall; plants smooth, fleshy.
Basal leaves waxy green, the blades oblong egg-shaped to circular or kidney-shaped, 2-12 cm long, margins wavy coarse-toothed, round-toothed, or nearly entire; long-stalked (2-25 cm).
Inflorescence a 1- or 2- (4-) flowered, terminal cyme, the flowers 2-4 cm wide; flower stalks erect, usually leafless or with 1 leaf; petals absent; sepals 6 to 12, white or greenish, tinged bluish on outside, oblong, 8.5-23 mm long; stamens 50 or more.
Follicles, 4 to 15, spreading, linear-oblong, 10-20 mm long, 3-4.5 mm wide; beaks straight or curved, 0.5-1.8 mm long; seeds brown, elliptic, 1.9-2.5 mm long, surface longitudinally wrinkled or grooved.
Two varieties occur in BC:

1. Leaves longer than wide, the margins more sharp-toothed than round-toothed; flowers usually 1 per stem; subalpine and alpine......................... var. leptosepala

1. Leaves nearly as wide as long, the margins subentire to broadly round-toothed; flowers mostly 2 per stem; lowland to subalpine........................... var. biflora (DC.) Lawson

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat and Range

Wet to moist meadows, bogs, fens, streambanks and seepage sites from the lowland to alpine zones; common in W BC, west of the Coast-Cascade Mountains (var. biflora), frequent throughout BC except Queen Charlotte Islands and adjacent coast (var. leptosepala); N to SW AK and S YK, E to AB and S to NM, AZ and CA.

SourceThe Illustrated Flora of British Columbia