Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

link to manual TREATMENT FROM THE JEPSON MANUAL (1993) previous taxon | next taxon
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.


David J. Keil and Gregory K. Brown

Annual to subshrubs
Stems from taproot or ± branched caudex
Leaves simple, alternate, entire to pinnately dissected; teeth or lobes often ± bristle-tipped
Inflorescence: heads radiate or discoid, solitary or cymosely clustered; involucre bell-shaped, hemispheric, or obconic; phyllaries in 2–several series of unequal length, basal portion straw-colored to purplish, tips green; receptacle convex, naked or with short, triangular scales (not chaff)
Ray flowers 8–many; corollas yellow, white, pink, blue, or purple
Disk flowers 10–many; corollas yellow; style tips triangular to linear, acute
Fruit linear to club-shaped or obovoid, smooth or several–many-ribbed, glabrous to densely hairy; pappus of many unequal bristles (ray pappus sometimes 0)
Species in genus: ± 35 species: temp w North America
Etymology: (Greek: sword-like anthers)
Reference: [Hartman 1990 Phytologia 68:439–465]


M. canescens (Pursh) A. Gray


Annual to perennial herb < 12 dm, generally canescent-puberulent and often glandular
Stems 1–several from base, generally branched above and ± bushy
Leaves generally 3–10 cm, generally 2–6 mm wide, linear to obovate, subentire to dentate or minutely serrate; lower tapered; upper sometimes clasping
Inflorescence: heads radiate; phyllaries generally in 3–10 series, tips short-triangular to elongate, acuminate, spreading to bent backward, generally ± glandular or glabrous
Ray flowers many (0 in var. shastensis ); corollas blue-purple; ligules 1–2 cm
Disk flowers many; corollas 5.5–8 mm
Fruit 2.5–3.5 mm, narrowly obovate, weakly curved and ± flattened with 5–7 ribs on each face, glabrous or ± silky; pappus 6–8 mm
Ecology: Common. Many habitats
Elevation: 300–3400 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, Great Basin Floristic Province, Mojave Desert
Distribution outside California: w N.America
Variable; perhaps not a different sp. from M. asteroides.

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bioregional map for MACHAERANTHERA%20canescens being generated
N.B. The distribution depicted here differs from that given in The Jepson Manual (1993)

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Machaeranthera canescens
Retrieve dichotomous key for Machaeranthera
Retrieve multiple-entry key (MEKA) for Machaeranthera
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
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