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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.

SOLIDAGO

GOLDENROD

John C. Semple

Perennial from woody caudex or rhizome, branched above
Leaves alternate, resinous, often sessile
Inflorescence: heads radiate, few–many, in ± flat-topped to panicle-like, often ± 1-sided clusters; involucre cylindric to bell-shaped (wider when dry); phyllaries in 3–5 graduated, overlapping series, midrib generally ± swollen, translucent
Ray flowers few–many; ligules yellow
Disk flowers few–many; corollas yellow, generally glabrous; style branches finely papillate, appendage triangular
Fruit obconic, compressed; pappus of 25–45 long-barbed bristles in 1 series
Species in genus: ± 150 species: especially North America (South America, Eurasia)
Etymology: (Greek: make-well, from purported medicinal value)
Reference: [Semple et al. 1990 Can J Bot 68:2070–2082]

Introduced

S. altissima L. var. altissima

LATE GOLDENROD


Stems from rhizome, 2–15 dm, hairy to base
Leaves 4–15 cm; mid-stem leaves largest, (ob)lanceolate, strongly 3-veined, ± densely scabrous to short-hairy
Inflorescence generally large, dense, pyramid-shaped; heads many; involucre 3–5 mm; phyllaries lanceolate, outer 1/4–1/3 length inner, margins ± strigose
Ray flowers 10–15; ligules 1–2 mm
Disk flowers 3–7; corollas 2.5–4.5 mm
Fruit 1–1.5 mm, ± strigose
Chromosomes: 2n=36,54
Ecology: Uncommon. Disturbed sites
Elevation: < 2800 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, Central Western California, Great Basin Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia; native to e US
Flowering time: Oct–Nov

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