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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.



L.D. Gottlieb

Annual to subshrub, glabrous or hairy; sap milky. Stem: 1–5+, ascending or erect, simple or branched, 1–20 dm. Leaf: alternate, basal rosette and cauline, generally ± thin, linear to oblanceolate, entire to pinnately lobed, generally withered at flower in annual and some perennial herb; distal cauline generally reduced and ± bract-like. Inflorescence: heads liguliflorous, 1 or in dense or panicle-like clusters from nodes along branches, ± sessile to peduncled; involucre cylindric; phyllaries generally in 2 series, outer < 1/4–1/2 × inner; appressed or reflexed; inner equal, glabrous or glandular-hairy; receptacle smooth or pitted, epaleate. Flower: 4–21; ligules lavender, pink, or white, readily withering. Fruit: 1.9–6.5 mm; ± cylindric, 5-angled, each face generally with long, narrow, central groove; pappus of 5–40, white to tan bristles, wholly plumose or plumose at least on distal 1/2, free throughout or widened at bases and then basally fused, generally in groups of 2–4, deciduous entirely or only widened bristle bases persistent after distal portion breaks off.
16 species: western North America. (Greek: wreath division, alluding to plumose pappus bristles) [Gottlieb 2006 FNANM 19:350–359] Annual species complexly interrelated, distinguished by different combinations or expressions of same traits; mature fruits and pappus needed for identification. Stephanomeria blairii moved to Munzothamnus, Stephanomeria spinosa to Pleiacanthus.
Unabridged references: [Gottlieb 1972 Madroño 21:463–481]

Key to Stephanomeria

1. Perennial herb from woody caudex or from stout or slender rhizome

2. Flowers 4–6(8); cauline leaves generally much reduced, bract-like, generally withered at flower

3. Plant from woody caudex; pappus bristles generally tan, plumose on distal 80% ..... S. pauciflora

3' Plant from rhizome; pappus bristles white, wholly plumose ..... S. tenuifolia

2' Flowers 7–21; cauline leaves persistent, green at flower

4. Plant from woody caudex; leaves 10–20 cm; young herbage tomentose; phyllaries many, graduated in several series; receptacle pitted ..... S. cichoriacea

4' Plant from rhizome; herbage glabrous or sparsely hairy; phyllaries in 2 series, inner long, outer < 1/2 × inner; receptacle smooth

5. Leaf margins not thickened, spines 0; leaves 3–8 cm; pappus bristles wholly plumose; dry forest, n California ..... S. lactucina

5' Leaf margins thickened, with minute spines; leaves 2–8 cm; pappus bristles plumose on distal 80%; East of Sierra Nevada, Mojave Desert ..... S. parryi

1' Annual, taprooted

6. Fruit without long groove on each face ..... S. virgata

7. Outer phyllaries appressed; flowers 5–6; California Floristic Province, Great Basin Floristic Province ..... subsp. pleurocarpa

7' Outer phyllaries reflexed; flowers 8–9; Outer South Coast Ranges, Southwestern California ..... subsp. virgata

6' Fruit with long groove on each face

8. Heads in small, ± open panicle-like clusters from nodes along branches; peduncles 10–40 mm ..... S. exigua (2)

9. Outer phyllaries reflexed — Central Coast, South Coast Ranges ..... subsp. carotifera

9' Outer phyllaries appressed

10. Peduncles, involucres densely glandular; South Coast, Peninsular Ranges ..... subsp. deanei

10' Peduncles, involucres glabrous or sparsely glandular; Great Basin Floristic Province, Desert ..... subsp. exigua

8' Heads 1 or in clusters on spreading peduncles <= 10 mm, from nodes along branches

11. Pappus bristles wholly plumose or at least to widened bases

12. Outer phyllaries reflexed (appressed); flowers 9–15; widespread ..... S. elata

12' Outer phyllaries appressed; flowers 5; Klamath Ranges, High Cascade Range, n Sierra Nevada, Modoc Plateau ..... S. paniculata

11' Pappus bristles plumose on distal 60–85%, widened at base or not

13. Flowers 11–13; fruit 1.9–2.3 mm; pappus bristles plumose on distal 80–85%, not widened at bases, entirely deciduous — South Coast, Channel Islands, Western Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges ..... S. diegensis

13' Flowers 5–11; fruit 2.3–6.5 mm; pappus bristles plumose on distal 60–85%, bases generally widened, generally only bristle bases persistent ..... S. exigua (2)

14. Outer phyllaries appressed; peduncles generally 2–5 mm (<= 20 mm on Sierra Nevada eastern slope and to north and east); widespread ..... subsp. coronaria

14' Outer phyllaries reflexed; peduncles 5–10 mm; c&s Sierra Nevada Foothills ..... subsp. macrocarpa


Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) [year] Jepson eFlora, [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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