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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.



G. Ledyard Stebbins

Annual, biennial, perennial herb; sap milky
Stems 3–10 dm, branched
Leaves basal and cauline, reduced upward; lower 1–2 dm, toothed or pinnately lobed, wing-petioled; middle sessile, sometimes clasping; upper greatly reduced
Inflorescence: heads ligulate, showy, terminal and axillary, lateral sessile; involucre ± cylindric; phyllaries in 2 series, hardened in basal half, outer short, spreading, inner elongate, erect; receptacle naked
Flowers many; ligules blue to purple, readily withering
Fruit oblong, glabrous, 5-angled; pappus of minute blunt scales
Species in genus: 8 species: Eur, Medit, Africa
Etymology: (Old Arabic name)


C. intybus L.

Perennial < 1 m, from deep, woody taproot; herbage glabrous to short-bristly, especially near base
Stems erect; branches stout, ascending
Leaves: lower oblong to elliptic in outline, subentire to coarsely pinnately lobed
Inflorescence: peduncles of terminal heads not thickened
Flowers: ligules blue (pink, white)
Fruit 1.5–2.5 mm; pappus scales < 0.5 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=18
Ecology: Common. Roadsides, waste places
Elevation: < 1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province, n Desert Mountains (Panamint Mtns)
Distribution outside California: widespread in N.America; native to Europe
Flowering time: Jun–Oct
Roasted roots used as coffee flavoring or substitute.

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