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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.


Annual, perennial herb
Stems generally erect
Leaves simple to 1–3 X pinnately divided, opposite
Inflorescence: heads radiate, 1–few in cymes; peduncles long; involucre hemispheric; phyllaries in 2 series, fused at base, outer generally ± leaf-like in texture, inner thinner, wider; receptacle ± flat, chaffy, scales ± flat, entire
Ray flowers sterile; ligules yellow to white, pink, or purple
Disk flowers many; corollas yellow; style tips thickened, acute
Fruit ± cylindric, generally 4-angled, often beaked or much narrowed toward tip; pappus 0 or of 2–8 stiff, barbed awns
Species in genus: ± 26 species: tropical, subtropical Am, especially Mex
Etymology: (Greek: ornament)
Reference: [Sherff & Alexander 1955 North America Flora 2(2):130–146]


C. bipinnatus Cav.


Annual, glabrous or puberulent
Stems generally erect, 3–20 dm
Leaves sessile or short-petioled; blade 6–11 cm, 1–2 X divided into linear segments < or = 1.5 mm wide
Inflorescence: peduncles 1–2 dm; involucre 7–15 mm diam; outer phyllaries generally 8, 9–13 mm, lanceolate; inner phyllaries ovate-lanceolate
Ray flowers generally ± 8; ligules 1–3 cm, white to pink or purple
Disk flowers: corollas 5–7 mm
Fruit 7–16 mm, black; pappus awns 0–3, 1–1.5 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=24
Ecology: Uncommon. Disturbed places
Elevation: < 1000 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: native to tropical America
Cult as ornamental.

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