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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]

Native

S. confinis A. Gray

SOUTHERN GOLDENROD

Plant ± glabrous
Stems < 21 dm, often stout, from short, branched caudex
Leaves: lowest largest, 5–25 cm, generally < 10 X longer than wide, entire, often ± fleshy, base nearly sheathing; uppermost sometimes scale-like or with axillary leaf-clusters
Inflorescence panicle-like; heads generally many; involucre 2.5–4 mm; phyllaries very narrowly triangular, inrolled near tip, sharply acute, outer 1/3–2/3 length inner; midrib generally enlarged, translucent
Ray flowers 3–13; ligules 1–2.5 mm
Disk flowers 10–20; corollas ± 3–4 mm
Fruit 1–1.5 mm, ± strigose
Chromosomes: 2n=18
Ecology: Wet streambanks, springs, marshes
Elevation: generally < 2500 m.
Bioregional distribution: Tehachapi Mountain Area, Central Coast (formerly San Francisco Bay Area), South Coast Ranges, Southwestern California, White and Inyo Mountains, n Desert Mountains
Flowering time: Jul–Oct
Involucres of n DMtns plants like those of S. spectabilis.

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