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Brickellia californica

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual to tree. Leaf: basal and/or cauline, alternate, opposite, rarely whorled, simple to 2+ × compound. Inflorescence: 1° inflorescence a head, resembling a flower, of several types (see below), 1--many in generally +- cyme-like cluster; each head generally with +- calyx-like involucre of 1--many series of phyllaries (involucre bracts); receptacle of head flat to conic or columnar, paleate (bearing paleae = receptacle bracts) or epaleate; flowers 1--many per head. Flower: bisexual, unisexual, or sterile, +- small, of several types (see below); calyx 0 or modified into +- persistent pappus of bristles, scales, and/or awns; corolla radial or bilateral (0), lobes generally (0)3--5; stamens 4--5, filaments generally free, generally fused to corolla at tube/throat junction, anthers generally fused into cylinder around style, anther base generally rounded or cordate (deeply sagittate or with tail-like appendages), tip (= flattened appendage) generally projecting beyond pollen sac; pistil 1, 2-carpeled, ovary inferior, 1-chambered, 1-seeded, placenta basal, style 1, tip generally +- 2-branched (except in some staminate disk flowers), branch tips truncate or generally bearing +- brush-like appendages; stigmas 2, generally on adaxial faces of style branches. Fruit: achene (also called a cypsela) (drupe in Chrysanthemoides), cylindric to ovoid, sometimes compressed, generally deciduous with pappus attached.
Genera In Family: +- 1500 genera, 23000 species: worldwide, many habitats. Note: Flower and head types differ in form and sexual condition. A disk flower has a generally radial corolla, with a cylindric tube, expanded throat, and generally 5 lobes. Disk flowers are generally bisexual and fertile but occasionally staminate with reduced ovaries. Discoid heads comprise only disk flowers. A radiant head is a variant of a discoid head, with peripheral disk flower corollas expanded, often bilateral. A ray flower corolla is bilateral, generally with a slender tube and flattened petal-like ray (single lip composed of generally 3 lobes). Ray flowers are generally pistillate or sterile (occasionally lacking styles). Radiate heads have peripheral ray flowers and central disk flowers. Disciform heads superficially resemble discoid heads, with pistillate or sterile flowers that lack rays, together with or separate from disk flowers. A ligulate flower is bisexual, with a bilateral, generally ephemeral corolla and 5-lobed ligule. Liguliflorous heads comprise only ligulate flowers. See glossary p. 31 for illustrations of family characteristics. Echinops sphaerocephalus L., Gaillardia aristata Pursh, Gaillardia pulchella Foug., Hymenothrix loomisii S.F. Blake, Tagetes erecta L., Thelesperma megapotamicum (Spreng.) Kuntze are waifs. Melampodium perfoliatum Kunth, historic urban waif. Ageratum conyzoides L., Guizotia abyssinica (L. f.) Cass., Santolina chamaecyparisus L., orth. var. are rare or uncommon escapes from cultivation. Dyssodia papposa, Ismelia carinata (Schousb.) Sch. Bip. [Chrysanthemum carinatum Schousb.], Mantisalca salmantica (L.) Briq. & Cavill. are historical or extirpated waifs in California. Inula helenium L. not documented in California. Taxa of Aster in TJM (1993) treated here in Almutaster, Eucephalus, Eurybia, Ionactis, Oreostemma, Sericocarpus, Symphyotrichum; Chamomilla in Matricaria; Cnicus in Centaurea; Conyza in Erigeron and Laennecia; Dugaldia in Hymenoxys; Erechtites in Senecio; Hymenoclea in Ambrosia; Lembertia in Monolopia; Osteospermum ecklonis in Dimorphotheca; Picris echioides in Helminthotheca; Prionopsis in Grindelia; Raillardiopsis in Anisocarpus and Carlquistia; Schkuhria multiflora in Bahia; Trimorpha in Erigeron; Venidium in Arctotis; Whitneya in Arnica. Taxa of Arida in TJM2 (2012) treated here in Leucosyris.
Unabridged Note: Largest family of vascular plants in California and of eudicots globally.
eFlora Treatment Author: David J. Keil, except as noted
Scientific Editor: David J. Keil, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: BrickelliaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: [Annual] perennial herb to shrub. Leaf: simple, alternate or opposite, generally resinous-dotted, veiny, main veins generally 3. Inflorescence: heads discoid, generally clustered; involucre cylindric to bell-shaped; phyllaries generally graduated, +- green, veiny-striate, spreading in age; receptacle generally flat, epaleate. Flower: corolla cylindric, +- white to pale yellow-green, occasionally tinged red or purple; anther tip ovate; style branches long, club-shaped, tips rounded. Fruit: 10-ribbed, generally cylindric, generally hairy; pappus of 10--40+ generally minutely barbed bristles, generally white.
Species In Genus: 110 species: western United States, Mexico, Central America. Etymology: (John Brickell, early botanist in Georgia)
eFlora Treatment Author: Randall W. Scott

Brickellia californica (Torr. & A. Gray) A. Gray
Habit: Shrub 50--200 cm. Stem: branched from near base, short-hairy, glandular. Leaf: alternate or proximal opposite, petiole 5--60+ mm, blade 10--100 mm, 10--90 mm wide, ovate to deltate, crenate to serrate, base cordate to truncate, tip acute to rounded, faces puberulent to becoming glabrous. Inflorescence: heads in leafy panicle-like cluster; peduncle 1--5 mm, puberulent, glandular; involucre 7--12 mm, cylindric to obconic; phyllaries 21--35, in 5--6 series, often purple-tinged, 3--6-striate, margin scarious, outer ovate to lance-ovate, glabrous to sparsely short-hairy, glandular, tip obtuse to acuminate, inner linear-oblong to lanceolate, glabrous, tip obtuse to acuminate. Flower: 8--18; corolla 5.5--8 mm, pale yellow-green. Fruit: 2.5--3.5 mm, puberulent; pappus bristles 24--30. Chromosomes: 2n=18.
Ecology: Dry, rocky hillsides, canyons, sea bluffs; Elevation: < 2700 m. Bioregional Distribution: NW, CaRF, SN, SnJV, CW, SW, D; Distribution Outside California: to Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, Texas. Flowering Time: Jul--Dec
Synonyms: Bulbostylis californica Torr. & A. Gray; Brickellia tenera A. Gray; Brickellia tenera A. Gray; Brickellia californica A. Gray var. tenera (A. Gray) B.L. Rob.; Brickellia wrightii A. Gray var. tenera (A. Gray) A. Gray; Coleosanthus californicus Kuntze; Coleosanthus tener (A. Gray) Kuntze
eFlora Treatment Author: Randall W. Scott
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botanical illustration including Brickellia californica


Citation for this treatment: Randall W. Scott 2016. Brickellia californica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 22, 2016.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2016. Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 22, 2016.

Brickellia californica
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© 2016 Keir Morse
Brickellia californica
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Brickellia californica
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© 2011 Barry Breckling
Brickellia californica
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© 2013 Steve Matson
Brickellia californica
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© 2003 Michael Charters
Brickellia californica
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© 2005 James M. Andre

More photos of Brickellia californica in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Brickellia californica:
NW, CaRF, SN, SnJV, CW, SW, D;
Markers link to CCH specimen records. Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues. Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).

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Data provided by the participants of the Consortium of California Herbaria.
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CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.