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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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  • 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.



Species in genus: 1 sp
Etymology: (Greek: little loose tufts, from hair in leaf axils)
Reference: [Morton 1978 North America Fl II 10:147]


C. multicaule Hook.

Annual 5–30 cm
Stems 1–few from base, generally unbranched, glabrous to ± tomentose (especially lower axils)
Leaves alternate, 10–25 mm, linear to obovate, ± fleshy, entire or few-toothed, reduced upward
Inflorescence: head 1, radiate, long-peduncled; involucre ± bell-shaped; phyllaries 5–13 in 1 series, fused at base, ovate or elliptic, thin, veiny; receptacle conic, naked
Ray flowers 5–13; ligules 4–10 mm, yellow
Disk flowers many; corollas 2–3 mm, yellow; anther bases rounded, tips narrowly triangular; style branches flattened, tips triangular, minutely papillate
Fruit 1.5–2.5 mm, elliptic, ribbed, brown, puberulent, gelatinous when wet; pappus of barbed bristles 1–3 mm, soon deciduous (often 0 on ray fruit)
Chromosomes: 2n=18
Ecology: Sandy soils, grassland, open woodland
Elevation: generally < 1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, North Coast Ranges, Sierra Nevada Foothills, e San Francisco Bay Area, South Coast Ranges (very uncommon), Modoc Plateau
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia
Horticultural information: TRY.

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