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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California

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  • Up-to-date information about California vascular plants is available from the Jepson eFlora.

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.

BALSAMORHIZA

BALSAM-ROOT

Perennial from fleshy taproot; caudices 1–many
Stems erect
Leaves ± basal, few cauline, long-petioled; blade entire to 1–3-pinnately lobed
Inflorescence: heads 1–few, radiate; peduncles long, bracts 0–few; involucre hemispheric to bell-shaped; phyllaries in 2–4 series; receptacle flat; chaff folded around fruits
Ray flowers showy; ligules yellow
Disk flowers many; corollas yellow, tube short, throat cylindric to narrowly bell-shaped; style branches tapered
Fruit oblong, 3–4-angled; pappus 0
Species in genus: ± 12 species: w North America
Etymology: (Greek: balsam root, from sticky sap of taproot)
Reference: [Weber 1982 Phytologia 50:357–359]
Hybrids common.
Horticultural information: TRY.

Native

B. sagittata (Pursh) Nutt.


Stems 2–6 dm, ± short-tomentose, minutely glandular
Leaves: basal 20–50 cm, blade widely triangular, entire, acute or obtuse, base cordate and ± hastate, upper surface soft-hairy, lower surface short-tomentose to finely strigose, ± canescent; cauline generally several, linear to oblanceolate
Inflorescence: heads 1–few; outer phyllaries 10–25 mm, 4–9 mm wide, oblong-lanceolate to ovate, obtuse to acute, ± tomentose
Ray flowers: ligules 2.5–4 cm
Disk flowers: corollas 6–8 mm
Fruit 7–9 mm
Ecology: Open forest, scrub
Elevation: 1400–2600 m.
Bioregional distribution: High Sierra Nevada, Great Basin Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: to British Columbia, Rocky Mtns
Flowering time: May–Jul

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