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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.



David J. Keil, Family Editor and author, except as specified

Annual to tree
Leaves basal or cauline, alternate to whorled, simple to compound
Inflorescence: 1° inflorescence a head, each resembling a flower, 1–many, generally arrayed in cymes, generally subtended by ± calyx-like involucre; flowers 1–many per head
Flowers bisexual, unisexual, or sterile, ± small, of several types; calyx 0 or modified into pappus of bristles, scales, or awns, which is generally persistent in fruit; corolla radial or bilateral (rarely 0), lobes generally (0)4–5; stamens 4–5, anthers generally fused into cylinder around style, often appendaged at tips, bases, or both, filaments generally free, generally attached to corolla near throat; pistil 1, ovary inferior, 1-chambered, 1-seeded, style 1, branches 2, generally hair-tufted at tip, stigmas 2, generally on inside of style branches
Fruit: achene, cylindric to ovoid, generally deciduous with pappus attached
Genera in family: ± 1300 genera, 21,000 species (largest family of dicots): worldwide. Largest family in CA. Also see tribal key to CA genera: Strother 1997 Madroño 44(1):1–28. See glossary p. 25 for illustrations of general family characteristics.


Elizabeth McClintock

Annual, perennial herb, ± aromatic
Stems low, erect or creeping, generally branched
Leaves alternate, entire, lobed, or dissected
Inflorescence: heads disciform, solitary; phyllaries in 2 or more series, narrowly scarious-margined; receptacle flat or convex, naked or roughened by persistent flowering stalks
Pistillate flowers in 1–several series, borne on slender stalks; corolla 0; ovary flattened
Disk flowers many, very small, bisexual or functionally staminate, sessile or short-stalked; corolla tubular, 4-lobed, yellow; style and stamens included; anther tips ovate, bases rounded or ± cordate; style branches truncate with shrub-like tips
Fruit of pistillate flowers compressed front-to-back, winged; fruit of disk flowers unwinged or wing narrow; pappus 0
Species in genus: ± 80 species: mostly in s hemisphere
Etymology: (Greek: "small cup," for sheathing leaf bases of some species)


C. australis (Sieber) Hook. f.

Stems < 20 cm, very slender, branched from base, sparsely hairy
Leaves 2–6 cm, 2–3-pinnately divided into linear segments, petioled or upper sessile
Inflorescence: heads 3–6 mm diam; phyllaries in 2 series, margins scarious, tips brownish
Pistillate flowers in 2–3 series
Disk flowers few–many, sessile or subsessile; corolla ± 1 mm, pale yellow
Fruit: marginal achenes ± 1 mm, widely winged, slightly < stalks; inner achenes < 1 mm, not or scarcely winged, ± sessile
Chromosomes: 2n=36,40
Ecology: Common. Weed, especially in urban coastal areas
Elevation: < 250 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Central Coast, South Coast
Distribution outside California: native to Australia

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