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
Stems simple to much-branched, prostrate to erect
Leaves simple, opposite
Inflorescence: heads radiate, solitary or in few-headed cymes; peduncle slender; involucre disk-like to hemispheric; phyllaries in 1–2 series; receptacle conic, chaffy; chaff scales lanceolate, ± awn-tipped
Ray flowers 5–13; tube 0; ligules 2–3-lobed, cream to orange, persistent on fruit
Disk flowers many; corollas cream to yellow or brown; lobes very small; style tips triangular
Fruit glabrous; ray achenes thick, pappus of short, stout awns; disk achenes short, pappus 0 or of 2 awns
Species in genus: 5 species: sw US, Mex, n C.Am, South America
Etymology: (either Sanvital, a Spanish botanist, or the Italian Sanvital family)
Reference: [Strother 1979 Madroño 26:173–179]

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