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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

Annual to shrubs, glabrous or hairy; sap milky
Stems branched, 0.5–3 m
Leaves cauline or some basal, alternate
Inflorescence: heads ligulate; involucre cylindric; phyllaries in 2–several series; receptacle naked
Flowers few–many; ligules lavender, pink, or whitish, readily withering
Fruit linear, club-shaped, or oblong; pappus generally of 9–30 stiff, plumose bristles
Species in genus: 24 species: w North America
Etymology: (Greek: wreath division)
Reference: [Gottlieb 1972 Madroño 21:463–481]
Annual, tap-rooted, rosette-forming species highly variable and complexly interrelated.


S. pauciflora (Torr.) A. Nelson


Perennial or subshrub, 3–6 dm, glabrous or densely short-tomentose
Stems: branches many, ± stout, rigid
Leaves: cauline often reduced to scales
Inflorescence: heads at tips of side branches; peduncles 1–13 mm (or 0 above); involucre 8–10 mm; outer phyllaries << inner, appressed or spreading; inner phyllaries 5
Flowers 3–5; ligules lavender-pink
Fruit 3–4 mm; pappus plumose but not to base, pale brownish
Chromosomes: 2n=16
Ecology: Dry flats, deserts
Elevation: < 2400 m.
Bioregional distribution: s High Sierra Nevada, Tehachapi Mountain Area, San Joaquin Valley, Inner South Coast Ranges, Transverse Ranges, East of Sierra Nevada, Desert
Distribution outside California: to Utah, Texas, nw Mexico; also in Kansas

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