Zygadenus venenosus

Death Camas


Centre Block, Cypress Hills Interprovincial Park

This plant is very poisonous.

Note that the key to the genera in Budd's Flora requires racemes loosely flowered; NOT [racemes densely flowered].  In fact, the raceme is rather densely flowered. Note also that the key to the families in Budd's Flora requires leaves NOT sheathing the stem.  In fact, the leaves do sheath the stem.  The rest of the answers to the keys are listed below.


Venenosus: Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora (BF)  and Flora of Alberta (FOA) leading to this species. 
bulletflowers about 5 mm long; NOT [flowers about 10 mm long]
bulletflowers pale yellow; NOT [flowers greenish yellow or straw-colored]
bulletglands of perianth obovate or semicircular; NOT [glands of perianth obcordate]
bulletovary superior; NOT [ovary partly inferior]



Zygadenus: Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora (BF)  and Flora of Alberta (FOA) leading to this genus. 
bulletplants NOT with an onion odour
bulletplants with bulbs; NOT [plants with rootstocks]
bulletplants NOT climbing; NOT [plants climbing with tendrils]
bulletplants not more than about 0.6 m high; NOT [stems to 1.2 m high]
bulletleaves green, normal, not reduced to scales; NOT [leaves reduced to thin, dry scales]
bulletcladodes absent; NOT [the photosynthetic organs (cladodes) being axillary branches with needle-like segments]
bulletleaves few; NOT [leaves numerous]
bulletleaves with their surface to the stem; NOT [leaves with their edges turned toward the stem]
bulletleaves linear or linear-lanceolate, usually many times longer than wide; NOT [leaves lanceolate or broader, not more than 5 times as long as wide]
bulletleaves keeled, V-shaped in cross section; NOT [leaves flat]
bulletleaves NOT with a rigid point
bulletleaves smooth; NOT [leaves rough]
bulletleaves soft and easily broken; NOT [leaves tough, fibrous]
bulletflowers usually terminal; NOT [flowers axillary]
bulletinflorescence a raceme; NOT [inflorescence an umbel or head-like cluster]
bulletracemes slender; NOT [racemes large] (BF)
bulletflowers more than 3, often very numerous; NOT [flowers 1-3 (rarely as many as 5)]
bulletflowers NOT drooping
bulletflowers 5-15 mm long; NOT [flowers 5 mm long or less], NOT [flowers 30 mm long or more]
bulletflowers white, yellowish white or greenish white; NOT [flowers bronze, reddish brown, greenish, or greenish yellow]; NOT [flowers orange]; NOT [flowers blue or purplish blue]
bulletfruit dry; NOT [fruit often juicy]



Liliaceae: Answers to key questions in Budd's Flora leading to this family.
bulletplants NOT aquatic, or if growing in water, most of the plant emersed
bulletinflorescence NOT subtended by strongly sheathing bracts
bulletflowers NOT borne in a spathe
bulletflowers regular; NOT [flowers irregular]
bulletperianth present, conspicuous, in two series of 3 segments, often brightly colored; NOT [perianth absent or inconspicuous]
bulletperianth usually large, consisting of sepals and petals usually alike, variously colored; NOT [perianth small, consisting of 3 green sepals and 3 whitish petals]
bulletpetals NOT deciduous
bulletstamens 6; NOT [stamens 1, 2, or 3]
bulletovary superior; NOT [ovary inferior]