Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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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, perennial herb, subshrubs, shrubs
Leaves opposite or alternate, simple to deeply divided or compound, sessile or petioled
Inflorescence: heads radiate, discoid or disciform, solitary or in cymes; peduncles short or long; involucre cylindric, hemispheric, or bell-shaped; phyllaries in 2–3 ± equal series, linear to ovate; receptacle flat to conic, naked
Ray flowers: ligules yellow or white
Disk flowers many; corollas yellow or white, 4-lobed; anther tips triangular; style tips tapered
Fruit linear to oblanceolate, very flat, sometimes weakly 3–4-angled; surface dark brown or black, glabrous or puberulent; margins generally ± thick, puberulent to strongly ciliate; pappus 0 or a crown of fringed scales and 0–2 slender bristles
Species in genus: ± 75 species: sw North America
Etymology: (Greek: around the margin, from thick fruit margin)
Reference: [Powell 1974 Rhodora 76:229–306]
Horticultural information: STBL.


P. megalocephala (S. Watson) J.F. Macbr.

Subshrub 15–55 cm, short-rough-hairy
Stems many, much-branched
Leaves generally alternate; petiole 1–6 mm; blade 7–15 mm, 1–10 mm wide, linear to widely ovate, tip acute to obtuse, margin generally entire, rarely serrate or lobed
Inflorescence: heads discoid, 1–few, loosely clustered; peduncles generally 1–5 cm, bracts leaf-like; involucre 3.5–7.5 mm diam, bell-shaped; phyllaries 14–19, 5–6 mm, lanceolate or oblong
Ray flowers 0
Disk flowers: corollas 3.5–4.2 mm
Fruit 2.5–3 mm; 1 or both surfaces rounded or ± angled, puberulent; margin hairy; pappus 0 or a crown of vestigial scales, rarely with 1 bristle
Ecology: Rocky places
Elevation: 1300–2800 m.
Bioregional distribution: White and Inyo Mountains, Desert Mountains
Distribution outside California: Nevada

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