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Jepson Interchange (more information)
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  • 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.


Species in genus: 1 sp
Etymology: (Greek & Latin: blunt pappus)


A. pusillus Hook. & Arn.

Annual 3–40 cm, glabrous or glandular, sticky; odor strong
Stem erect, simple or much-branched
Leaves simple, alternate or lowermost opposite, 1–4 cm, linear to narrowly oblanceolate, entire or pinnately lobed ± fleshy
Inflorescence: heads disciform or minutely radiate, many in a round- or flat-topped, leafy cyme; peduncles generally 1–6 mm; involucre 3–6 mm diam, bell-shaped; phyllaries 3–8, in 1 series, equal, free, overlapping, 2–5 mm, obovate; receptacle short-conic, naked
Pistillate flowers 1 per phyllary; corollas 0.5–1 mm, tubular, yellow, ligules minute, 2–3-lobed
Disk flowers 2–30; corollas 0.5–1 mm, yellow; style branches very short, tip triangular
Fruit 1.5–2 mm, obconic, 3–4 angled, black; hairs short, ascending; pappus a crown of 7–12 scales, each 0.2–0.5 mm, oblong, blunt, white or purplish
Chromosomes: 2n=16
Ecology: Coastal dunes, beaches, headlands
Elevation: < 50 m.
Bioregional distribution: s Central Coast, South Coast, Channel Islands
Distribution outside California: Baja California; also w S.America
Horticultural information: STBL.

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