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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.


G. Ledyard Stebbins

Annual to shrub, stiff
Leaves alternate
Inflorescence: heads disciform, many; involucre ± hemispheric; phyllaries in 3–5 unequal series, outer leathery above, inner narrower, ± membranous; receptacle naked
Pistillate flowers many; corolla very slender, 4–5-lobed
Disk flowers few, fruiting or staminate; corolla 5-lobed, pink or purple in CA; anther bases short-tailed, tips ± ovate; style branches 0 to short, obtuse
Fruit ± cylindric, grooved; pappus 1 series of slender bristles
Species in genus: ± 40 species: tropical, warm temp
Etymology: (N.A. Pluche, 18th century French naturalist)


P. sericea (Nutt.) Coville


Shrub 1–5 m, finely silky, not scented, nonglandular
Leaves 1–4 cm, linear to lanceolate, crowded, entire
Inflorescence: involucre 3.5–4.5 mm
Pistillate flowers: corollas 5–6.5 mm, pink to deep rose
Disk flowers: corollas 5–6 mm, pink to deep rose
Fruit 0.5–1 mm, smooth
Chromosomes: 2n=20
Ecology: Forming thickets in stream bottoms, washes, canyons, around springs, sometimes in saline areas
Elevation: < 600 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Joaquin Valley, Inner South Coast Ranges, South Coast, s Channel Islands, Transverse Ranges, Peninsular Ranges, Desert
Distribution outside California: to Texas, nw Mexico
Flowering time: Mar–Jul
Horticultural information: STBL; INV.

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bioregional map for PLUCHEA%20sericea being generated

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