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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.



Robert Ornduff

Annual, perennial herb, glabrous or hairy
Stem generally branched, generally erect, < 60 cm
Leaves opposite, < 20 cm, entire to pinnately cut
Inflorescence: heads radiate, solitary or in cymes; phyllaries in 1 or 2 series, free or partly fused; receptacle narrowly conic to hemispheric, naked, smooth, pitted, or rough
Ray flowers 4–21; ligules generally yellow
Disk flowers generally many; corollas generally 5-lobed, generally yellow; anther tips acuminate to triangular; style tips triangular or round, generally hair-tufted
Fruit < 5 mm, cylindric to obovoid, black or gray; pappus of awns, scales, or 0
Species in genus: 17 species: w North America, Chile
Etymology: (Greek: female pupil of Plato)
Reference: [Ornduff 1966 Univ Calif Publ Bot 40:1–92]
Generally self-incompatible (cross-pollinated).


L. glaberrima A.DC.

Annual < 35 cm
Stem sprawling or erect, simple or freely branched, glabrous
Leaves 3–10 cm, linear, entire, glabrous
Inflorescence: involucre 5–7 mm, hemispheric or bell-shaped; phyllaries 5–10, fused, hairy; receptacle conic, papillate, glabrous
Ray flowers 6–13; ligules very short, pale yellow
Disk flowers many; corollas generally 4-lobed, pale yellow or greenish; anther tips obovate or oblong, blunt; style tips short, glabrous
Fruit < 4 mm, ± linear, hairy; pappus of < 10 narrowly tapered or elliptic scales
Chromosomes: 2n=10
Ecology: Vernal pools, wet places
Elevation: < 900 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast Ranges, Sacramento Valley, n San Joaquin Valley, Central Western California, Modoc Plateau (rare)
Distribution outside California: to sw Washington
Generally self-pollinated.

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