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ASTERACEAE

SUNFLOWER FAMILY

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.

CIRSIUM

THISTLE

David J. Keil and Charles E. Turner

Annual to perennial herb (sometimes short-lived, dying after flowering once)
Stem generally erect
Leaves: lower generally tapered or petioled, often wavy-margined, generally pinnately lobed, ± dentate, lobes and teeth spine-tipped, margin generally spiny-ciliate, glabrous to tomentose; upper generally sessile, ± reduced
Inflorescence: heads discoid, 1–many; involucre cylindric to spheric; phyllaries many, graduated in several series, outer spine-tipped; receptacle flat, long-bristly
Flowers generally many; corollas ± bilateral, white to red or purple, tube long, slender, lobes linear; anther bases sharply sagittate, tips oblong; style tip with slightly swollen node, appendage (above node) long, cylindric, branches very short
Fruit ovoid, glabrous; scar slightly angled; pappus bristles many, plumose, ± persistent or falling in ring
Species in genus: ± 200 species: North America, Eurasia
Etymology: (Greek: thistle)
Taxa difficult, incompletely differentiated, hybridize.

Native

C. andersonii (A. Gray) Petr.

Perennial, often appearing biennial, (1.5)4–7(10) dm; caudices erect, taprooted, from rootstock
Stem 1–several, simple or branches ascending, ± glabrous to puberulent and or tomentose
Leaves generally green above, ± persistently gray-tomentose below; lower 8–35 cm, petiole spiny-winged, coarsely dentate or shallowly to deeply 1–2 X lobed, main spines 1–5 mm; middle ± clasping; upper generally much reduced, linear-oblong, often spinier than lower
Inflorescence: heads 1–few; peduncles < 20 cm (lateral heads sometimes ± sessile); involucre 3–5 cm, 2–4 cm diam, widely cylindric to narrowly bell-shaped, closely subtended by 1–several bracts, loosely tomentose or glabrous; phyllaries strongly graduated, ascending, ± lanceolate, long-acuminate, middle and outer entire or spiny-ciliate, tip spines 1–3 mm, inner tips entire, long, flat, purple
Flowers: corollas 30–45 mm, red to reddish purple, tube 10–20 mm, throat 10–16 mm, lobes 9–11 mm
Fruit 6–7 mm, compressed, brown; pappus 25–40 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=32,64
Ecology: Open places, woodland, forest
Elevation: (760)1400–3150 m.
Bioregional distribution: Klamath Ranges, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada
Distribution outside California: to se Idaho?, Nevada

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