Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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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.


David J. Keil and Charles E. Turner

Stems erect, openly branched above
Leaves: basal entire or toothed; cauline alternate, pinnately lobed
Inflorescence: heads disciform; involucre cylindric to ovoid; phyllaries in several overlapping series, oblong-lanceolate, acute; receptacle chaffy
Flowers 3–15; outer sterile, inner 1–2 fertile; corolla purple, tube slender, gradually wider, lobes linear; anther bases short-tailed, tips narrowly triangular; style with minutely hairy cylindric node and papillate terminal segment, branches short, triangular
Fruit cylindric or ± compressed; base puberulent, soft-hairy upward; pappus (on fertile fruit only) of small scales and stiff bristles
Species in genus: 2 species: Eur
Etymology: (Latin: ancient name)

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