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.



Meredith A. Lane

Subshrubs, appearing glabrous
Stems decumbent, widely spreading or erect, striate; old growth gray, bark sometimes shreddy with age; new growth white below, tips green
Leaves simple, sometimes in axillary clusters below, spreading-ascending to appressed-erect, linear to narrowly oblanceolate, generally minutely spine-tipped, pale green to light gray-green
Inflorescence: heads radiate or discoid, 1–many in rounded to ± flat-topped clusters, very small in bud, expanding rapidly in fruit; involucres widely bell-shaped to nearly spheric; phyllaries 20–24 in 2–3 series, ovate to ovate-elliptic, bases cream-yellow, tips green, margins scarious; receptacle deeply pitted, with projections between flowers but not chaffy
Ray flowers present or 0; ligules yellow
Disk flowers many; corollas funnel-shaped, yellow, sinuses deep, lobes spreading to reflexed, style-branch appendages lanceolate
Fruit densely long-hairy, hairs white, bronze, or brownish; pappus of 20–25 wide, stiff, widely spreading bristles, slightly > fruit
Species in genus: 2 species: sw US
Etymology: (Greek: unbending pappus)
Reference: [Lane 1988 Madroño 35:247–265]

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