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

Perennial; sap milky
Leaves basal and cauline, entire to pinnately lobed
Inflorescence: heads ligulate, large, 1–many; phyllaries in many overlapping rows; receptacle ± flat, naked
Flowers many; corollas yellow to white or purple; ligules readily withering
Fruit cylindric, not beaked; pappus of several rows of plumose bristles
Species in genus: ± 150 species: Medit, Eurasia
Etymology: (Old French: viper)


S. hispanica L.


Stem 2.5–10 dm from vertical rootstock, sparsely woolly at base, few-branched, leafy
Leaves 15–40 cm, linear to ovate-elliptic; margins wavy with a few teeth
Inflorescence: heads 2–3 cm, < 4 cm in fruit
Flowers many; ligules yellow, sometimes purple-tinged below
Fruit 10–15 mm, ribbed; outer strongly ribbed, rough; inner weakly ribbed; pappus bristles ± = fruit, dirty white
Chromosomes: 2n=14
Ecology: Open fields
Elevation: < 200 m.
Bioregional distribution: Outer North Coast Ranges
Distribution outside California: native to Europe

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