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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.


Elizabeth McClintock

Annual, perennial herb, generally glandular-hairy
Stems erect, branched
Leaves simple, alternate
Inflorescence: heads radiate, solitary, peduncled; phyllaries in 2–3 ± equal series, linear, margins narrowly scarious; receptacle flat, naked
Ray flowers many; ligules yellow or orange
Disk flowers many, staminate; corollas yellow to brown; anthers with ovate or triangular-ovate tips, sagittate at base, short-tailed; style with ring of hairs just below tip, very shallowly divided
Fruit incurved, rough or prickly on back; pappus 0
Species in genus: ± 15 species: Eur, n Africa, w Asia
Etymology: (Latin: calendar, for long flowering season)


C. arvensis L.


Annual, finely glandular-hairy
Stems slender, < 15 cm
Leaves petioled; blade < 7 cm, ± lanceolate, thinnish, becoming sessile upward
Inflorescence: head < 4 cm diam, nodding at maturity
Ray flowers: ligules yellow
Disk flowers: corollas ± 3 mm
Fruit 3 mm, strongly incurved, almost in a circle, with many prickles on back; inner prickles blunt; outer prickles sharp
Chromosomes: 2n=18,36,44
Ecology: Uncommon. Escape from cultivated in disturbed, urban, coastal areas
Elevation: < 200 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Central Coast, Outer South Coast Ranges, expected more widely
Distribution outside California: native to c Europe, Mediterranean

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