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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.

HETEROTHECA

GOLDENASTER, TELEGRAPH WEED

John C. Semple

Annual to perennial herb, taprooted, branched above, strigose-bristly; hairs minutely knobby
Leaves generally ± cauline, alternate; lower oblanceolate to ovate, base or petiole ± spreading-hairy; upper reduced, glandular
Inflorescence ± flat-topped; heads generally radiate; involucre ± bell-shaped; phyllaries in 3–5 graded series; receptacle naked, pitted
Ray flowers (0)10–30(40); ligules yellow
Disk flowers many; corollas yellow; style branches finely papillate, appendage narrowly triangular
Fruit obconic; ray fruit ± 3-angled, pappus 0 or of bristles; disk fruit compressed, outer pappus of narrow scales < 1 mm, inner of 30–45 bristles 3–7 mm
Species in genus: ± 30 species: especially w North America
Etymology: (Greek: different cases, from ray and disk fruits)
Reference: [Semple 1990 Brittonia 42:221–228]

Native

H. grandiflora Nutt.

TELEGRAPH WEED

Annual to short-lived perennial herb < 20 dm, erect, ± densely bristly, glandular
Leaves: lower leaves petioled, basal lobes ear-like, clasping; middle leaves densely appressed-hairy, lanceolate; upper leaves sessile, ascending, less hairy and more glandular upward
Inflorescence ± panicle-like, densely glandular; involucre 6–9 mm; phyllaries in 4–6 series
Ray flowers 25–40; ligules 5–8 mm
Disk flowers 30–75; corollas 4–6 mm
Fruit 2–5 mm: ray fruits ± glabrous, pappus 0; disk fruits strigose, outer pappus 0.2–0.7 mm, inner 3–5 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=18
Ecology: Disturbed areas, dry streams, sand dunes
Elevation: < 1100 m.
Bioregional distribution: s Northwestern California, Sierra Nevada Foothills, s Tehachapi Mountain Area, Great Central Valley, Central Western California, Southwestern California, Desert (uncommon)
Distribution outside California: nw Mexico; introduced into Arizona, Utah
Flowering time: All year
Horticultural information: SUN: 7, 8, 9, 10, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; INV.

Information on Distribution was contributed by Tom Chester (17 Jul 2004):
SW should be added, since it is found all over the SW CA-FP

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