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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.


Willard W. Payne

Annual, taprooted, much-branched, generally ± white-hairy
Leaves petioled, generally opposite below, alternate above
Inflorescence: heads disciform, many; involucre cup- to bell-shaped; phyllaries few in 1 series, small, free; receptacle chaffy
Pistillate flowers 0–2; corolla 0; style branches long
Staminate flowers 5–20; corolla greenish to dull purple; anthers free, exserted, filaments fused, attached at corolla tube base
Fruit compressed, winged, falling with chaff scale; pappus 0
Species in genus: 3–4 species: sw US, nw Mex
Etymology: (Greek: 2 bugs, from 2-fruit heads)

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