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.



Subshrubs, shrubs, ± strongly scented
Stems many, slender, from thick, woody root-crown, short-lived, very brittle, often leafless
Leaves simple, opposite (or upper alternate), sessile or petioled; blades linear to triangular, entire to dentate or irregularly lobed
Inflorescence: heads discoid, solitary or in open, rounded cymes; peduncles slender; involucre cylindric to narrowly bell-shaped; phyllaries graduated in several series; receptacle rounded, chaffy, scales folded around fruits
Flowers many; corollas yellow; anther tips ovate, acute; style tips tapered, acute
Fruit club-shaped, compressed, 3-angled, brown to black; hairs ascending, white; pappus of 15–30 subplumose bristles
Species in genus: 2 species: sw US, nw Mex
Etymology: (M.S. Bebb, Am botanist, 1833–1895)
Reference: [Whalen 1977 Madroño 24:112–123]

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