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©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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

ASTERACEAE

SUNFLOWER FAMILY

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.

ECLIPTA

Annual
Stems prostrate to erect, often rooting below, simple to much-branched
Leaves simple, opposite, sessile
Inflorescence: heads radiate, small, solitary or in small cymes; peduncles short or 0; involucre hemispheric; phyllaries in 1–2 ± equal series, free, ovate; receptacle rounded, chaffy, scales narrowly linear, bristle-like
Ray flowers many; corollas white; ligules short, narrowly linear
Disk flowers many; corollas white; style branches very short, included; anthers brown, included
Fruit 4-angled, ± flat, brown, glabrous; pappus a crown of minute bristles or 0
Species in genus: 4 species: especially tropical
Etymology: (Greek: deficient, from absence of pappus)

Native

E. prostrata (L.) L.

Plant ± strigose throughout
Stems 1–10 dm
Leaves: blades linear, lanceolate, or narrowly elliptic, entire or short-toothed, tip acute
Inflorescence: peduncles 0–15 mm; involucre 4–10 mm diam; phyllaries 4–5 mm, acute
Ray flowers: corolla 1.5–3 mm
Disk flowers: corolla 1.5–2 mm
Fruit 1.7–2.2 mm, obovate, smooth or ± warty; pappus < or = 0.2 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=12
Ecology: Damp places
Elevation: < 300 m.
Bioregional distribution: Great Central Valley, South Coast Ranges, Southwestern California, Sonoran Desert
Flowering time: All year
Synonyms: E. alba (L.) Hassk
A weed in all continents. Source of dark dye, medicine against roundworm parasites.

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