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Key to families | Table of families and genera
Specimen numbers are hyperlinked to records in the Consortium of California Herbaria data view where possible. Taxa are hyperlinked to entries in the Jepson Interchange via the "[Online Interchange]" link.
Annual, taprooted; often strongly scented. Stem: decumbent to erect, 1–several from base, 2–90 cm, simple or generally ± openly branched, distally glabrous or sparsely hairy to woolly, often glandular. Leaf: simple, alternate, entire to pinnately lobed; basal generally withered at flower (persistent), petioled or sessile, 4–11 cm, linear to oblanceolate or spoon-shaped, lobes (if present) toothed; cauline sessile (occasionally clasping), reduced distally on stem, 1-veined, linear to ovate or obovate, glabrous or sparsely hairy to woolly, occasionally with stalked or bead-like sessile glands. Inflorescence: heads radiant, generally slender-peduncled in open cyme- or panicle-like clusters (± sessile in spike- or head-like clusters); involucre 4–13 mm diam, narrowly cylindric or fusiform to obconic or hemispheric; phyllaries 10–55, graduated in 4–8 series, erect or recurved, persistent, spreading or reflexed in age, texture leaf-like or scarious (papery), tips green or ± purple-tinged, glabrous or sparsely hairy to woolly, often glandular; receptacle slightly convex, shallowly pitted, epaleate. Disk flower: 3–40; corolla funnel-shaped to tubular, white, pink, lavender, or yellow, limb ± palmately expanded in peripheral flowers, lobes erect or spreading; anther tip awn-like; style branches 0.8–2.5 mm, appendage 0.3–1.3 mm. Fruit: 1–5 mm, cylindric to obconic, not compressed, smooth or obscurely 5–10 nerved, faces tan or mottled purple-brown, densely puberulent to long-soft-hairy; pappus of 3–55 persistent bristles, free, fused at base, or fused throughout into awns, occasionally reduced to crown, white, tan, or ± red.
2n=10, except Lessingia nemaclada, 2n=10,12.
12 species: California; western Nevada, northwestern Arizona, northern Baja California. (C.F. Lessing, German-born botanist, 1809–1862) [Markos 2006 FNANM 20:452–458] Other species now treated in Benitoa and Corethrogyne.
Unabridged disk flower: colored band inside each present or not, lobes 5; anther base ± rounded; style-branch appendage lanceolate or short-triangular with abrupt point 0.1–0.4 mm.
Unabridged references: [Markos & Baldwin 2001 Syst Bot 26:168–183]
1. Corolla yellow (externally occasionally pink or ± purple in peripheral flowers of Lessingia tenuis).
2. Style-branch appendage lanceolate, 0.3–1.3 mm; corolla tube not purple-brown banded inside ..... L. glandulifera
3. Phyllaries persistently tomentose ..... var. peirsonii
3' Phyllaries sparsely hairy or glandless hairs 0
4. Stem and leaves glabrous or slightly hairy to tomentose ..... var. glandulifera
4' Stem and leaves densely, persistently tomentose — e Peninsular Ranges (San Diego Co.) ..... var. tomentosa
2' Style-branch appendage short-triangular, 0.1–0.4 mm; corolla tube purple-brown banded inside
5. Plant glandless or phyllaries rarely with sparse bead-like, sessile glands ..... L. germanorum
5' Plant ± glandular
6. Flowers 3–25; cauline leaves generally glandless, occasionally with bead-like sessile glands; phyllary tips ± purple; corolla of peripheral flowers yellow or occasionally pink or ± purple externally ..... L. tenuis
6' Flowers 15–30; cauline leaves with stalked and bead-like sessile glands; phyllary tips generally green (occasionally purple); corolla of peripheral flowers yellow ..... L. pectinata
7. Stem ± red to dark brown; leaf margin dentate to pinnately lobed, segments with short stiff points ..... var. pectinata
7' Stem green or tan; leaves entire or dentate to pinnately lobed, segments without short stiff points ..... var. tenuipes
1' Corolla white, pink, or lavender
8. Phyllaries generally glabrous, rarely sparsely hairy, occasionally with stalked and/or bead-like sessile glands
9. Basal leaves generally persistent at flower; cauline leaves with stalked glands; involucre hemispheric to bell-shaped; corolla lavender (never white) ..... L. ramulosa
9' Basal leaves generally withering before flower; cauline leaves occasionally with stalked glands; involucre cylindric to broadly obconic; corolla white (occasionally pale lavender)
10. Cauline leaves with sunken glands and occasionally with bead-like sessile and/or stalked glands; style-branch appendage generally lanceolate, occasionally short-triangular ..... L. nemaclada
10' Cauline leaves generally glandless, occasionally with sparse stalked glands; style-branch appendage short-triangular ..... L. micradenia
11. Phyllary glands 0 or bead-like, sessile ..... var. glabrata
11' Phyllaries with stalked glands ..... var. micradenia
8' Phyllaries sparsely hairy, tomentose, or woolly, occasionally with bead-like sessile glands
12. Stem decumbent; outer phyllary tip green; inner phyllaries stiff, white; pappus pink to red ..... L. nana
12' Stem decumbent to erect; outer phyllary tip green or purple; inner phyllaries scarious; pappus white to tan
13. Cauline leaves glandless
14. Basal leaves withered at flower; involucre 4–8 mm; style-branch appendage short-triangular; pappus generally < fruit (except in Sonoma Co.) ..... L. arachnoidea
14' Basal leaves generally persistent at flower; involucre (5)8–13 mm; style-branch appendage lanceolate; pappus >= fruit ..... L. hololeuca
13' Cauline leaves with sunken glands (rarely also with stalked or bead-like sessile glands in Lessingia virgata), glands occasionally obscured by hairs
15. Cauline leaves glabrous or sparsely hairy to tomentose; inflorescence open, cyme- or panicle-like, heads generally at ends of branchlets; flowers 6–25; corolla lavender (never white) ..... L. leptoclada
15' Cauline leaves generally tomentose (sparsely hairy); inflorescence spike-like, heads generally in leaf axils; flowers 3–6; corolla generally white, occasionally pale lavender ..... L. virgata
Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, http://ucjeps.berkeley.edu/IJM.html [accessed on month, day, year]
Citation for an individual treatment: [Author of taxon treatment] [year]. [Taxon name] in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, [URL for treatment]. Accessed on [month, day, year].
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