Jepson Flora Project: Jepson Interchange    

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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.



David J. Keil and Charles E. Turner

Annual to perennial herb (sometimes short-lived, dying after flowering once)
Stem generally erect
Leaves: lower generally tapered or petioled, often wavy-margined, generally pinnately lobed, ± dentate, lobes and teeth spine-tipped, margin generally spiny-ciliate, glabrous to tomentose; upper generally sessile, ± reduced
Inflorescence: heads discoid, 1–many; involucre cylindric to spheric; phyllaries many, graduated in several series, outer spine-tipped; receptacle flat, long-bristly
Flowers generally many; corollas ± bilateral, white to red or purple, tube long, slender, lobes linear; anther bases sharply sagittate, tips oblong; style tip with slightly swollen node, appendage (above node) long, cylindric, branches very short
Fruit ovoid, glabrous; scar slightly angled; pappus bristles many, plumose, ± persistent or falling in ring
Species in genus: ± 200 species: North America, Eurasia
Etymology: (Greek: thistle)
Taxa difficult, incompletely differentiated, hybridize.


C. fontinale (Greene) Jeps.

Perennial 5–22 dm, thinly to densely tomentose, glandular
Stem 1–several
Leaves generally very strongly wavy; lower 1–7 dm, petioles spiny-lobed or toothed, blades shallowly to deeply 1–2 X lobed and dentate, main spines 1–10 mm, abrupt; cauline gradually reduced, well-distributed, ± lobed, upper clasping (bases expanded, ear-like), sometimes short-decurrent, spines often 10–12 mm
Inflorescence: heads ± grouped in panicle-like cluster, ± nodding, closely subtended by uppermost leaves; peduncles 0–7 cm; involucres hemispheric or bell-shaped, green to purple, 1.5–3 cm, 2–4.5 cm diam; phyllaries lanceolate to ovate, spreading to reflexed, spines 1–5 mm
Flowers: corollas 20–22 mm, white to pink or lavender
Fruit 4–5 mm, ± brown; pappus 12–15 mm
Ecology: Serpentine seeps and streams
Elevation: < 750 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Francisco Bay Area, c Outer South Coast Ranges.


var. obispoense J.T. Howell


Stem < 2 m, green to purplish
Leaves densely tomentose, especially lower surface; glandular hairs concealed
Inflorescence: heads ± nodding in flower, generally erect in fruit; outer phyllaries 15–20 mm, green to dark purple, strongly recurved, ± channeled, widest below middle, upper 1/2 tapered to spine 1–4 mm
Flowers: corolla tube 7 mm, throat 8 mm, lobes 5 mm; style branches 4–6 mm
Fruit minutely scabrous above
Ecology: Habitat of sp.
Elevation: < 300 m.
Bioregional distribution: c Outer South Coast Ranges (San Luis Obispo Co.).
See the CNPS Inventory for information about endangerment and rarity.
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bioregional map for CIRSIUM%20fontinale%20var.%20obispoense being generated

Retrieve Jepson Interchange Index to Plant Names entry for Cirsium fontinale var. obispoense
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