Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
For up-to-date information about California vascular plants, visit 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.


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. californicus Fisch. & C.A. Mey.


Inflorescence: heads 2–4 mm, depressed; receptacle not > wide; pistillate chaff scales 2–4 mm, thickened and hard throughout, tip projected upward from inner edge of scale, ± cylindric, beak-like, wing obscure, ± linear, withering; disk chaff 0
Pistillate flowers 4–6 in 1 series
Disk flowers 1–2 mm, 5-lobed
Fruit 1.4–2.6 mm; pappus bristles of disk fruit 0 or 1, 0.9–1.5 mm
Ecology: Dry or moist, bare or grassy places
Elevation: < 1700 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: w Oregon, nw Baja California


var. subvestitus A. Gray

Inflorescence: heads 2–3 mm, 3–4.5 mm wide; pistillate chaff scales 2–3 mm, wool thin, ± appressed
Disk flowers 1–1.5 mm
Fruit 1.4–2.2 mm; pappus of disk fruit (0)0.9–1.3 mm
Ecology: Dry places
Elevation: 50–1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: c Sierra Nevada Foothills (very uncommon), Central Western California (except Inner South Coast Ranges).

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bioregional map for MICROPUS%20californicus%20var.%20subvestitus being generated
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Micropus californicus var. subvestitus
Retrieve dichotomous key for Micropus
Retrieve multiple-entry key (MEKA) for Micropus
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
Show other taxa with the same California distribution | Read about bioregions | Get lists of plants in a bioregion
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