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    Vascular Plants of California
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Helenium puberulum

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; Bahia in Hymenothrix; 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 Picradeniopsis; Trimorpha in Erigeron; Venidium in Arctotis; Whitneya in Arnica. Amauriopsis in TJM2 (2012) treated here in Hymenothrix; Arida in Leucosyris; Bahia in Picradeniopsis.
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: HeleniumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, 10--160 cm. Stem: erect, unbranched or branched distally, generally +- winged by decurrent leaf bases, glabrous or +- hairy. Leaf: basal and cauline; basal, proximal cauline leaves often withered by flowering, alternate, simple, entire, toothed or lobed, glabrous or +- hairy, gland-dotted. Inflorescence: heads radiate or discoid, hemispheric to ovoid or +- spheric, 1 or generally in panicle-like or +- flat-topped clusters; involucre shallowly cup- or disk-like, phyllaries in 2 series (in California), free or +- basally fused, +- equal (or outer longer), generally reflexed in fruit; receptacle conic, +- spheric, hemispheric, or ovoid, pitted, epaleate. Ray Flower: 0 or 7--34, pistillate (in California), corolla yellow (in California), ray fan-shaped, 3-lobed. Disk Flower: 75--1000+; corolla generally 5-lobed, yellow, purple, or proximally yellow to yellow-green and distally +- brown or purple; anther tip triangular; style tips truncate. Fruit: obpyramidal, ribbed, glabrous or +- hairy; pappus of 5--12 membranous scales.
Species In Genus: +- 32 species: North America, South America. Etymology: (Helen of Troy)
eFlora Treatment Author: Mark W. Bierner
Reference: Bierner 2006 FNANM 21:426--435
Unabridged Reference: Bierner 1972 Brittonia 24:331--355

Helenium puberulum DC.
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, 5--16 dm. Stem: generally 1, branched distally, strongly winged, glabrous or sparsely hairy. Leaf: glabrous or sparsely hairy; basal oblanceolate to oblong-elliptic, entire; cauline oblong-elliptic to lanceolate to lance-linear, entire. Inflorescence: heads (1)4--20(30), 9--15 mm, 9--17(19) mm diam; peduncle (6)9--17(23) cm, +- hairy; phyllaries generally free; receptacle 5--10 mm diam, +- spheric. Ray Flower: 0 or 13--15; corolla 3.8--10 mm. Disk Flower: 300--500(1000+); corolla (1.6)1.9--2.7 mm, generally 4-lobed, proximally yellow, distally yellow to +- red-brown or purple. Fruit: 1.2--1.9 mm, +- hairy; pappus scales 5--6, 0.4--1 mm, short-awned. Chromosomes: 2n=58.
Ecology: Streambanks, seepage areas, lake margins; Elevation: < 1200 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoR, CaRH, SNF, GV, CW, WTR, w PR; Distribution Outside California: Baja California. Flowering Time: Jun--Aug
Unabridged Synonyms: Cephalophora decurrens Less.; Heleniastrum puberulum (DC.) Kuntze; Helenium californicum Link; Helenium decurrens (Less.) Vatke; Helenium pubescens Hook. & Arn.; Helenium rosilla Turcz.
Jepson eFlora Author: Mark W. Bierner
Reference: Bierner 2006 FNANM 21:426--435
Unabridged Reference: Bierner 1972 Brittonia 24:331--355
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Citation for this treatment: Mark W. Bierner 2012, Helenium puberulum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 18, 2018.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2018, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on November 18, 2018.

Helenium puberulum
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© 2008 Keir Morse
Helenium puberulum
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© 2011 Neal Kramer
Helenium puberulum
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© 2013 Vernon Smith
Helenium puberulum
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© 2014 Neal Kramer
Helenium puberulum
click for enlargement
© 2011 Neal Kramer
Helenium puberulum
click for enlargement
© 2011 Neal Kramer

More photos of Helenium puberulum in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Helenium puberulum:
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, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time.