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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.

HELENIUM

SNEEZEWEED

Annual, perennial herb, glabrous to ± hairy
Stems generally erect, often winged, generally glabrous below, ± short-hairy above
Leaves simple, alternate, gland-dotted
Inflorescence: heads radiate or discoid; involucre disk-shaped; phyllaries in 1–3 series, free or ± fused, subequal or outer longer; receptacle strongly convex to spheric or conic, naked
Ray flowers fertile or sterile; corollas yellow; ligule fan-shaped, generally strongly 3-lobed
Disk flowers many; corollas 4–5-lobed, yellow to red or purplish brown; anther appendages short-triangular; style branches ± truncate
Fruit obconic, ribbed, ± hairy; pappus of 5–10 scales or 0
Species in genus: ± 35 species: North America, South America
Etymology: (Helen of Troy)
Reference: [Bierner 1972 Brittonia 24:331–355]

Native

H. bolanderi A. Gray

Perennial
Stems 2–14 dm, glabrous below, ± short-hairy above; branches 0–few
Leaves basal and cauline, entire, glabrous or ± short-hairy; basal and lower cauline oblanceolate to obovate, tips rounded; middle and upper cauline sessile or wing-petioled, oblanceolate or elliptic to ovate, clasping, decurrent
Inflorescence: heads generally 1(–3); peduncles 10–30 cm, generally tomentose; receptacle 4–8 mm diam
Ray flowers 15–30; ligules 15–30 mm
Disk flowers: corollas 4–5 mm, 5-lobed, yellow, lobes yellow to red, brown, or purple
Fruit 1.5–2.5 mm, ± long-hairy; pappus scales 3–4.5 mm, awn-tipped
Chromosomes: 2n=32
Ecology: Wet soil
Elevation: < 100 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast
Distribution outside California: Oregon
Horticultural information: IRR or WET, SUN: 5, 14, 15, 16, 17, 24.

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