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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.


Curtis Clark

Stems generally many from base
Leaves alternate, generally drought-deciduous, simple, petioled, entire or rarely toothed
Inflorescence: heads radiate or discoid, solitary or in cyme-like panicles; peduncles generally long; involucre hemispheric; phyllaries in 2–3 series, free; receptacle chaffy, scales folded around fruits and falling with them
Ray flowers sterile; style 0; ligules yellow
Disk flowers many; corollas yellow or brown-purple, tube slender, throat abruptly expanded, lobes triangular; anther tips ovate, ± acute; style tips triangular
Fruit strongly compressed, obovate or wedge-shaped; edges long-ciliate; faces glabrous or short-hairy; pappus of 2 narrow scales or 0
Species in genus: 13 species: w North America, w South America
Etymology: (Christopher Encel, 16th century)
Commonly hybridizing, especially in disturbed areas; E. farinosa X E. frutescens is common; E. farinosa X E. californica, E. farinosa X E. actoni, E. actoni X E. frutescens, E. frutescens X E. virginensis, E. farinosa X Geraea canescens have been reported.


E. actoni Elmer

Shrub 5–15 dm, with many slender branches from base
Stems branched below; young stems hairy; older stems with fissured bark
Leaves scattered along stems; petioles 6–12 mm; blades 2.5–4 cm, ovate to deltate, acute, silvery green, canescent
Inflorescence: heads radiate, solitary; peduncles canescent; involucre 8–14 mm; phyllaries ovate
Ray flowers 15–25; ligules 10–25 mm
Disk flowers: corollas 5–6 mm, yellow
Fruit 5–7 mm; pappus generally 0
Chromosomes: 2n=36
Ecology: Open areas, rocky slopes, roadsides
Elevation: 800–1500 m.
Bioregional distribution: sw San Joaquin Valley and adjacent Western Transverse Ranges (Cuyama Valley), w Desert and adjacent California Floristic Province, White and Inyo Mountains, Desert Mountains
Distribution outside California: sw Nevada, n Baja California
Flowering time: Feb–Jul
Synonyms: E. virginensis Nelson subsp. a. (Elmer) D.D. Keck
Horticultural information: DRY, SUN, DRN: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

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