Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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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.


Robert Ornduff

Species in genus: 1 sp.: w US
Etymology: (Greek: stiff pappus)


R. leptocladus A. Gray

Annual < 30 cm, ± hairy
Stem simple or side branches > main axis
Leaves alternate, < 3 cm, ± erect, linear, entire
Inflorescence: heads radiate, terminal; involucre obconic; phyllaries in 2 series, < 8 mm, tapered, partly enclosing outer fruit; receptacle flat, chaffy between ray and disk flowers
Ray flowers < 15; corolla < 2 mm, pale yellow, often purple-tinged; style branches flat; stigmatic lines marginal
Disk flowers bisexual, < 60; corolla < pappus, ± cylindric, lobes generally 3–4
Fruit < 4 mm, brown; pappus of 0–5 tapered scales, < 5 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=18
Ecology: Grassy areas or among shrubs
Elevation: < 2300 m.
Bioregional distribution: Northwestern California, Cascade Range, Sierra Nevada, Great Central Valley, Central Western California, Western Transverse Ranges, San Gabriel Mountains, Modoc Plateau
Distribution outside California: to Washington, Idaho, Nevada
Generally self-pollinated.

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