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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.



Species in genus: 1 sp
Etymology: (Greek & Latin: chaffy achene, from fruit)


A. mollis Schauer

Annual 2.5–40 cm, ± soft-hairy
Stem erect, generally few-branched
Leaves simple, sessile, ± sheathing; lower opposite and fused around stem; upper alternate; blades 2–12 cm, linear, obtuse, entire or few-toothed
Inflorescence soft-hairy, ± glandular; heads radiate, 1–few; peduncles (0.5)3–11 cm, bractless; involucre 1–2 cm, cylindric to ellipsoid or narrowly bell-shaped; phyllaries 3–8 in 1 series, each tightly enwrapping ovary of a ray flower; chaff scales ± equal, in 1 involucre-like series, generally slightly < phyllaries, flat, widely membrane-margined
Ray flowers 3–8; corollas 10–12 mm, yellow to red; ligules 5–6 mm, inconspicuous, slightly exceeding phyllaries
Disk flowers 6–35; corollas 6–10 mm, yellow to red, tube = throat, lobes 0.5–0.8 mm; style branches tapered, short-bristly
Fruit: ray achenes ± cylindric, smooth, black, pappus 0; disk achenes 4.5–8.5 mm, 10-ribbed, scabrous, black, pappus of 10 oblong, blunt, shining, white scales in 2 series, 3–6 mm and 6–11 mm, scales widely spreading in fruit
Chromosomes: 2n=16
Ecology: Common. Grassy areas
Elevation: < 900 m.
Bioregional distribution: California Floristic Province
Distribution outside California: s Oregon, n Baja California
Horticultural information: SUN, DRN: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24.

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