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Jepson Interchange (more information)
©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
For up-to-date information about California vascular plants, visit 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, sometimes aromatic
Stems branched, erect or decumbent
Leaves alternate, irregularly 2–3-pinnately lobed; segments linear; petiole short or 0
Inflorescence: heads discoid, solitary or 2–3; receptacle conic, naked; phyllaries in 2–3 unequal series, margins scarious
Flowers many, yellow, tubular, 4-lobed, narrowed above; anthers very small, tips ovate, bases rounded or ± cordate; style short, branches truncate with shrub-like tips
Fruit cylindric, sometimes gelatinous when wet, ribbed; pappus a narrow crown or 0
Species in genus: ± 5 species: Eur, North America
Recent taxonomic note: *For revised taxonomy of Chamomilla, see Bremer & Humphries 1993 Bull Nat Hist Mus Lind (Bot) 23: 71–177
Etymology: (Derivation of name not known)
Reference: [Moe 1977 Dissertation, Univ CA, Berkeley]


C. occidentalis (Greene) Rydb.

Plants 15–45(70) cm; herbage not strongly scented
Stems often branched only above
Leaves sessile, < 7 cm, glabrous
Inflorescence: heads generally < 1.5 cm diam, ± conic to spheric, remaining intact at maturity
Flowers: corollas 1–2 mm
Fruit angled, gelatinous when wet; tip and pappus crown 2-lobed, with wide brown gland extending from tip of each lobe to ± middle of achene
Ecology: Common. Undisturbed alkali flats, vernal pools, edges of salt marshes
Elevation: < 2400 m.
Bioregional distribution: Outer North Coast Ranges, High Cascade Range, High Sierra Nevada, San Joaquin Valley, San Francisco Bay Area, Outer South Coast Ranges, South Coast, Mojave Desert
Flowering time: May–Aug
Synonyms: Matricaria o. Greene
Recent taxonomic note: *Matricaria occidentalis Greene
Horticultural information: SUN: 5 , 7, 8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24; used as substitute for chamomile.

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bioregional map for CHAMOMILLA%20occidentalis being generated
YOU CAN HELP US make sure that our distributional information is correct and current. If you know that a plant occurs in a wild, reproducing state in a Jepson bioregion NOT highlighted on the map, please contact us with that information. Please realize that we cannot incorporate range extensions without access to a voucher specimen, which should (ultimately) be deposited in an herbarium. You can send the pressed, dried collection (with complete locality information indicated) to us (e-mail us for details) or refer us to an accessioned herbarium specimen. Non-occurrence of a plant in an indicated area is difficult to document, but we will especially value your input on those types of possible errors (see automatic conversion of distribution data to maps).

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Chamomilla occidentalis
Retrieve dichotomous key for Chamomilla
Retrieve multiple-entry key (MEKA) for Chamomilla
Overlay Consortium of California Herbaria specimen data by county on this map
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