Limnanthes R. Brown

The generic limits of Limnanthes are highly controversial. It was long believed to count ten species (e.g. Jäger & al. 2008, Mabberley 2008). However, recent authors tend to reduce the number of species, accepting several of the former species at a lower taxonomic rank. Morin (2010), for instance, distinguished seven species, all native to western North America (mainly California). Molecular data seem to further reduce the number of species: according to Meyers & al. (2010) Limnanthes may contain as few as four species.

One species, Limnanthes douglasii, is more or less regularly cultivated as an ornamental in Europe and has been recorded as an escape from cultivation in Belgium.


Hauptli H.H., Webster B.D. & Jain S.K. (1978) Variation in nutlet morphology in Limnanthes. Amer. J. Bot. 65: 615-624.

Jäger E.J., Ebel F., Hanelt P. & Müller G. (eds.) (2008) Rothmaler Band 5. Exkursionsflora von Deutschland. Krautige Zier- und Nutzpflanzen. Springer Verlag, Berlin: 880 p.

Jain S. (1976) Meadow foams - mermaids of our vernal pools. Fremontia 4(3): 19-21.

Kesseli R.V. & Jain S.K. (1987) Origin of gynodioecy in Limnanthes. Theor. Appl. Genet. 74: 379-386.

Mabberley D.J. (2008) Mabberley’s plant-book (3th ed.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge: XVIII + 1021 p.

Mason C.T. (1952) A systematic study of the genus Limnanthes R. Br. Univ. Calif. Publ. Bot. 25: 455-512.

Mason T. (1989) Infraspecific name changes in Limnanthes (Limnanthaceae). Madroño 36(1): 50-51.

Meyers S.C., Liston A. & Meinke R. (2010) A Molecular Phylogeny of Limnanthes (Limnanthaceae) and Investigation of an Anomalous Limnanthes Population from California, U. S. A. Systematic Botany 35(3): 552-558.

Morin N.R. (2007) New combinations in Limnanthes (Limnanthaceae). Journal of the Botanical Research Institute of Texas 1(2): 1017.

Morin N.R. (2010) Limnanthus. In: Flora of North America Editorial Committee (eds.), Flora of North America, vol. 7. Oxford University Press, New York-Oxford: 173-183. [available online at:]

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Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith