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©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

ASTERACEAE

SUNFLOWER FAMILY

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.

RUDBECKIA

CONE-FLOWER

Annual, biennial, perennial herb
Stems erect, simple or branched
Leaves simple, basal and alternate, petioled or upper sessile; blades entire, toothed or pinnately lobed
Inflorescence: heads radiate or discoid, 1–few, terminal; peduncles long, stout; involucre disk-shaped; phyllaries in 1–3 equal or unequal series, spreading or reflexed; receptacle conic to columnar, chaffy; chaff scales oblong, entire folded around fruits
Ray flowers 0 or many, sterile
Disk flowers many; corolla yellow to dark brown, diam of tube and throat ± equal; style tips blunt-triangular
Fruit oblong, 4-angled, ± flattened; pappus a crown of fused scales or 0
Species in genus: ± 15 species: North America
Etymology: (O.J. Rudbeck, 1630–1702, and O.O. Rudbeck, 1660–1740, professors of botany at Uppsala, Sweden)

Native

R. californica A. Gray

CALIFORNIA CONE-FLOWER

Perennial; rhizome stout
Stems 6–18 dm, erect, generally unbranched, glabrous
Leaves: blade generally 10–30 cm, lanceolate to ovate or elliptic, entire, toothed or coarsely lobed
Inflorescence: head, radiate, solitary; peduncles 2–6 dm; outer phyllaries 1–2 cm, linear-oblong, > inner; disk 1.5–6 cm, ovoid to columnar; chaff greenish
Ray flowers 8–21; ligules yellow, 2–6 cm, often reflexed
Disk flowers: corollas 4–5 mm, greenish yellow
Fruit 4–5 mm, glabrous; pappus scales 1–1.5 mm
Ecology: Meadows, seeps, mires
Elevation: < 2600 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, North Coast, High Sierra Nevada
Distribution outside California: s Oregon

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