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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.



Annual, perennial herb, shrubs
Stems prostrate to erect
Leaves simple or pinnate, generally opposite, sessile or petioled
Inflorescence: heads radiate or discoid, generally few in CA; involucre cylindric to bell-shaped; phyllaries in 2 dissimilar series, outer generally ± leaf-like in texture, inner thinner, with transparent or scarious margins; receptacle chaffy; chaff scales narrow, flat
Ray flowers 0 or few; ligules yellow or white
Disk flowers generally many; corollas yellow, radial (or outermost white, bilateral)
Fruit narrowly club-shaped, thick or compressed front-to-back; pappus 0 or awns 1–several, generally barbed
Species in genus: ± 230 species: worldwide
Etymology: (Latin: 2 teeth)
Reference: [Sherff & Alexander 1955 North America Flora 2(2):70–129]


B. vulgata Greene

Annual, ± puberulent
Stems erect, 3–15 dm, 4-angled
Leaves compound, petioled; leaflets 2–8 cm, lanceolate, acuminate, serrate
Inflorescence: heads radiate; peduncles 2–23 mm; involucre bell-shaped; outer phyllaries 10–16, 1–2 cm, ± linear, ciliate; inner phyllaries 7–9 mm, ovate-lanceolate
Ray flowers few; ligules 2.5–3.5 mm
Disk flowers: corollas ± 3 mm, yellow
Fruit 6–12 mm wedge-shaped, yellowish or olive-brown, flat; margin with stiff, ascending hairs or reflexed barbs; faces glabrous or short-rough-hairy; pappus awns 2, 3–4 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=24
Ecology: Uncommon. Freshwater wetlands
Elevation: < 300 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast Ranges, Sacramento Valley
Distribution outside California: to Washington, native to e N.America

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