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

Perennial, 5–25 dm and ± tomentose in CA
Stems generally erect, leafy, branched, stout
Leaves basal and cauline, alternate, 3–10 dm in CA, 1–2-pinnately lobed to divided, ± spiny
Inflorescence: heads discoid, large, 1–few per cyme; involucre ovoid or hemispheric; phyllaries in many overlapping series, generally ovate, leathery, entire, glabrous, tips generally triangular; receptacle flat, fleshy, bristly
Flowers many; corollas blue-purple in CA, tube very slender, throat widened abruptly, lobes linear; anther bases long-sagittate, tips oblong; style appendage long, cylindric, minutely papillate, tip barely notched
Fruit cylindric to obconic, ± 4-angled or ± compressed, glabrous, attached at base; pappus of many stiff bristles in several series, white or brownish, plumose below, fused and falling together
Species in genus: 10 species: Medit, Canary Islands
Etymology: (Greek: dog, from tooth-like phyllaries)

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