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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.


Perennial from stolons and slender rhizomes; herbage glabrous
Stems prostrate to ascending, rooting below
Leaves simple, opposite, sessile; blades narrow, entire, fleshy
Inflorescence: heads radiate or discoid, generally solitary (–3); peduncles bractless; involucre cylindric or ovoid; phyllaries overlapping in 3–5 series, tightly appressed, unequal, inner longest; receptacle conic, naked
Ray flowers 0–few; ligules yellow
Disk flowers many; corollas yellow; anther tips narrowly triangular; style tips short-triangular
Fruit ± cylindric, angled, glabrous; pappus 0 or a crown of short bristles
Species in genus: 2 species: w coasts of North America, s South America
Etymology: (J.H. Jaume St. Hilaire, French botanist, 1772–1845)


J. carnosa (Less.) A. Gray

Stems long, weak
Leaves generally 1.5–5 cm, linear to narrowly oblong-oblanceolate; bases fused 1–2 mm around stem, tips ± obtuse
Inflorescence: heads radiate, 1.2–2 cm (including flowers); peduncles 1–2 cm, enlarged below head; involucre 5–12 mm diam; phyllaries ovate, generally ± purple, tips rounded
Ray flowers: ligules 3–5 mm, narrow
Disk flowers: corollas 6–7 mm
Fruit 2–3 mm, brown; pappus 0 or bristles 1–5, < or = 0.5 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=38
Ecology: Coastal salt marshes, bases of sea cliffs
Elevation: 0–5 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Central Coast, South Coast
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, n Baja California
Horticultural information: WET, SUN: 4, 5, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; GRCVR; stbl.

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