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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.



Annual or perennial herb, generally densely glandular, aromatic
Stems 1–several, generally simple below, ± branched above
Leaves generally opposite below, alternate above, generally linear to lanceolate, entire to slightly toothed
Inflorescence: heads generally radiate, generally peduncled, few–many; phyllaries generally 1–20, free, enclosing (and falling with) ray achenes; receptacle ± flat, generally glabrous; chaff scales generally ± fused, in ring between ray and disk flowers
Ray flowers generally 1–20, sometimes minute; ligules 2–3-lobed, generally yellow
Disk flowers 1–many, sometimes staminate; corollas yellow or maroon; anther tips triangular-ovate; style tips linear to oblong, acute, bristly
Fruit club-shaped or obovoid; ray achenes compressed, thickened, or 3-angled (1 angle toward center of head), ridged, sometimes beaked; pappus 0 or of short scales; disk achenes ± symmetric; pappus 0 or of 4–10 scales or bristles
Species in genus: 21 species: w North America, sw South America
Recent taxonomic note: *See revised taxonomy of Baldwin 1999 Novon 9:462–471.
Etymology: (Chilean name)
Reference: [Nelson & Nelson 1980 Brittonia 32:323–325]


M. nutans (Greene) D.D. Keck


Annual 5–25 cm
Stems branched near base and above, flexible, bristly below, puberulent and minutely stalked-glandular above; glands ± black
Leaves 1.5–3 cm, mostly alternate, ± bristly, strigose to long-soft-hairy
Inflorescence: heads in open cymes or solitary, nodding in bud, especially in fruit; involucre 4–7 mm, ± hemispheric; phyllaries linear, acuminate, soft-hairy, glandular or not, tips not flat; receptacle glabrous; chaff scales weakly fused ± 1/2 length
Ray flowers 4–8; corolla tubes ± 1 mm, ligules 3–7 mm, bright yellow, base often reddish
Disk flowers 7–30, fertile; corollas 3–4 mm; anthers yellow
Fruit: ray achenes 2.7–4.1 mm, club-shaped, slightly curved, beak 0, pappus 0; disk achenes 2.3–4.5 mm, slightly club-shaped, expanded at base, hairy, pappus scales ± 10, 2–3.7 mm, lanceolate, long-acuminate, fringed
Chromosomes: 2n=18
Ecology: UNCOMMON. Rocky soils, chaparral, woodland
Elevation: 150–950 m.
Bioregional distribution: s North Coast Ranges, n San Francisco Bay Area
Recent taxonomic note: *Harmonia nutans (Greene) B.G. Baldwin
Horticultural information: DRN, IRR Oct to May, SUN: 7, 14, 15, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

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