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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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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.


James D. Morefield

Annual, generally grayish, cobwebby to tomentose
Stems 1–several, erect; central axis dominant
Leaves simple, alternate (ours), ± sessile, narrowly oblanceolate to elliptic (ours), entire
Inflorescence: heads disciform, ± sessile, solitary or in groups of 2–5; bracts like leaves; phyllaries 4–6, equal, obovate, rounded, scarious, persistent; receptacle chaffy; chaff scales subtending the pistillate flowers (pistillate chaff) > phyllaries, each enclosing a flower, falling with a fruit, bulged out and up, ± compressed side-to-side, ± thickened, hard (at least in part), ± woolly, tip ± offset to inner edge, scarious-winged; chaff scales subtending disk flowers (disk chaff) 0 or reduced, open or folded, glabrous, scarious
Pistillate flowers 4–8(12) in 1(2) series; corollas tubular
Disk flowers staminate, 2–5; ovary vestigial
Fruit obovate, bulged out and up, compressed side-to-side, smooth; style ± offset to inner edge; pappus 0; disk pappus 0 or of 1–5 smooth, deciduous bristles, included
Species in genus: 5 species: CA-FP, Medit
Etymology: (Greek: small foot)
Reference: [Holub 1976 Flora Europaea 4:126]
Ongoing research may show CA species fit best in Eur Bombycilaena , a conclusion compatible with this generic description.


M. amphibolus A. Gray


Inflorescence: heads 3.5–5 mm, ± spheric; receptacle 1.2–1.8 X > wide; pistillate chaff scales 2–3 mm, thick and hard near midvein, tip projected inward from near top of scale, ± flat to concave, wing prominent, ovate, not withering; disk chaff present
Pistillate flowers 8–12 in 2 series
Disk flowers 1.2–1.9 mm, 4-lobed
Fruit 1–1.5 mm; pappus bristles of disk fruit 1–5, 1.7–2 mm
Ecology: UNCOMMON. Bare, grassy, or rocky slopes
Elevation: 50–800 m.
Bioregional distribution: s North Coast Ranges, San Francisco Bay Area, s Outer South Coast Ranges (Santa Barbara Co.), rare in n Sierra Nevada Foothills
Synonyms: Stylocline a. (A. Gray) J.T. Howell
Distinct but ± intermediate between M. californicus and Stylocline species; perhaps of hybrid origin.
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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bioregional map for MICROPUS%20amphibolus being generated

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