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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.



James D. Morefield

Annual, grayish, cobwebby to tomentose
Stems generally ± evenly leafy below, ± leafless between upper forks
Leaves simple, alternate or seeming whorled, ± sessile, entire
Inflorescence: heads disciform, ± sessile, generally in groups of 2–10(20), ± ovoid to conic until mature; bracts leaf-like; phyllaries ± 0; receptacle generally < 2 X longer than wide, generally expanded at tip, chaffy; chaff scales generally 10–20, ± phyllary-like, each subtending a pistillate flower, generally evenly curved inward; outer scales each ± folded around a flower, generally falling with a fruit, ± woolly, back generally rounded, tip generally narrowly obtuse to acute, ± scarious-winged; innermost chaff scales generally > outer, open, boat-shaped, persistent, ± glabrous, ± rigid throughout, generally spreading at maturity
Pistillate flowers in (3)4–8 series, all or outer subtended by chaff scales; corollas tubular
Disk flowers bisexual, not subtended by chaff scales; corolla lobes 4–5
Fruit ± obovoid, generally ± compressed side-to-side; outer fruit enfolded by chaff scale, generally erect, straight, smooth, shiny, pappus 0; inner fruit not enfolded by chaff scale, slightly < outer, rougher or papillate, dull, pappus generally of 16–30 bristles, ± deciduous, generally cohering in a ring
Species in genus: 24 species: Eur, n Africa, sw Asia, sw North America
Etymology: (Latin: with threads, from woolly hairs)
Reference: [Wagenitz 1976 Sida 6:221–223]
Characters may be unreliable in dwarf plants. Subg. Oglifa sometimes treated as genus Logfia in Eur. 3 Eur. aliens occur near CA: F. arvensis, minima, vulgaris.

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