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.


Stems erect or spreading
Leaves simple, alternate, sessile, pinnately veined
Inflorescence: heads discoid but often appearing radiate, solitary to many in panicles; involucre cylindric to bell-shaped; phyllaries graduated in several series; receptacle naked
Flowers few–many; corollas white to pink or purple, strongly 2-lipped, inner lip deeply 2-lobed, recurved or coiled, outer lip entire to shallowly 3-lobed, spreading, ligule-like; anther tips lance-oblong, basal appendages stiff, tail-like; style tips rounded to truncate
Fruit cylindric, ribbed, glandular; pappus of many bristles
Species in genus: ± 40 species: North America
Etymology: (Mrs. A'Court, English amateur botanist)
Reference: [Reveal & King 1973 Phytologia 27:228–232]

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