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.



G. Ledyard Stebbins

Annual, biennial; sap milky; herbage bearing rigid hairs, most of which have 2–4-hooked branches at tip, often with scattered prickles
Stems solitary, branched, leafy
Leaves basal and cauline, alternate, entire to pinnately lobed
Inflorescence: heads ligulate, solitary, cymes, or panicles; phyllaries in 2–3 overlapping series; receptacle naked
Flowers many; ligules yellow, readily withering
Fruit oblong, 5–10-ribbed, covered with minute spines, beaked; pappus 2 rows of plumose or simple bristles
Species in genus: ± 45 species: Eurasia, Africa
Etymology: (Greek: bitter)


P. echioides L.


Stems coarse, stout, 3–8 dm
Leaves 5–20 cm, oblong, entire, coarsely toothed, or shallowly lobed; lower tapered to winged petioles; upper sessile, sometimes clasping
Inflorescence: heads 2–4 cm diam, terminal and axillary, short- to long-peduncled in leafy-bracted cymes; involucre 15–20 mm; outer phyllaries spreading to ascending, leaf-like, widely ovate, cordate, >> and often concealing the erect, lanceolate, tapered, inner phyllaries
Fruit 5–7.5 mm (including beak); body ± = beak, brownish, transversely roughened; beak slender; pappus, 4–7 mm, plumose, white
Chromosomes: 2n=10
Ecology: Common. Weed of waste places
Elevation: < 450 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: native to Europe

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