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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

Annual, perennial herb
Stems erect; branches ascending
Leaves basal and alternate, simple, sessile or petioled, entire or toothed, 3-veined from base
Inflorescence: heads radiate or discoid, solitary or in few-headed panicles; peduncles ± elongated; 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, tube slender, throat gradually expanded, lobes triangular; anther tips ovate, ± acute; style tips triangular
Fruit strongly compressed, narrowly wedge-shaped; edges ± white, long-ciliate; faces black, ± hairy; pappus of 2 narrow awns
Species in genus: 2 species: sw US, nw Mex
Etymology: (Greek: old, from white-haired involucre)


G. canescens A. Gray


Annual, taprooted; herbage bristly or soft-hairy
Stems 1–8 dm, simple to openly much-branched
Leaves 1–10 cm, sessile above, wing-petioled below; blade lanceolate or ovate to elliptic or oblanceolate, green or ± canescent, tip acute, base tapering to wing, margin entire or dentate
Inflorescence: heads radiate, solitary or few–many in panicles; involucre 7–12 mm; phyllaries narrowly lanceolate, acute, green, ciliate
Ray flowers 10–21; ligules 1–2 cm
Disk flowers: corollas 4–5 mm
Fruit 6–7 mm; pappus awns 3–4 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=36
Ecology: Sandy desert soils
Elevation: < 1300 m.
Bioregional distribution: Desert
Distribution outside California: to sw Utah, w Arizona, n Mexico
Flowering time: Feb–May, Oct–Nov
Sometimes hybridizes with Encelia farinosa
Horticultural information: TRY.

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