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.


David J. Keil and Charles E. Turner

Leaves basal and cauline, alternate
Inflorescence: heads discoid, 1–many; involucre ovoid to ± obconic; phyllaries many, in several series, unequal, acute; receptacle flat or rounded, naked to bristly
Flowers few–many; corollas blue to purple, tube slender, throat abruptly wider, lobes linear; anther bases short-tailed, tips linear, acute; style branches oblong, short-papillate, tips minutely hairy
Fruit oblong, ± angled, attached at base; pappus of 1–2 series, outer of short bristles or scales, inner of generally longer plumose bristles fused at base
Species in genus: ± 300 species: Eurasia, North America
Etymology: (Theodore & Horace Saussure, Swiss naturalists, 18th century)

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