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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.

ASTER

ASTER

Geraldine A. Allen

Annual or perennial herb from caudex or rhizome
Stem generally erect, 1–20 dm
Leaves basal, cauline, or both, alternate, generally entire; basal generally petioled
Inflorescence: heads generally radiate, solitary or in a cyme or panicle; involucre obconic to hemispheric; phyllaries in 2–6 series, outer generally < inner, free, at least inner with pale, papery margins; receptacle ± flat, naked
Ray flowers 0–many; corolla violet to pink or white
Disk flowers many; corolla and anthers generally yellow, tube generally < throat; anther tips ± triangular; style branches flat on inner face, base ± warty, tip acute, hairy
Fruit generally rounded, ± ribbed, ± brown; pappus of bristles, white to brownish
Species in genus: ± 250 species: North America, Eurasia, Africa
Etymology: (Greek: star)
Reference: [Allen 1984 Syst Bot 9:175–191]
Recent taxonomic note: *See also revised taxonomy of Nesom 1994 Phytologia 77:141–297.

Native

A. engelmannii (D.C. Eaton) A. Gray

Perennial; caudex woody
Stems 5–15 dm, ± hairy
Leaves cauline with lowest scale-like, 4–10 cm, elliptic to ovate, ± acute, generally entire, ± glabrous
Inflorescence: heads in a cyme; phyllaries ± keeled, oblong to ovate, acute, pale with green midvein and generally purple-margined tip, ciliate
Ray flowers generally 8 or 13; corollas 15–22 mm, white, ± becoming pink
Fruit ± hairy
Chromosomes: 2n=18
Ecology: Uncommon. Meadows, open woods
Elevation: 1800–2000 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, High North Coast Ranges
Distribution outside California: to w Canada, Colorado, Nevada
Horticultural information: TRY.

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