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©Copyright 1993 by the Regents of the University of California
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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.


Annual, perennial herb, subshrubs
Leaves simple or pinnately divided, opposite or alternate, dotted with embedded oil glands
Inflorescence: heads radiate or discoid, sessile or peduncled, solitary or in few-headed cymes; involucre hemispheric to bell-shaped; phyllaries in 2–3 series (outer, if present, few, free, inner fused, gland-dotted); receptacle flat to rounded, naked
Ray flowers 0–few; corollas yellow or white
Disk flowers many; corollas yellow; style tips truncate or conic
Fruit obpyramidal, obconic, or cylindric; pappus of scales, each awn-tipped or dissected into bristles
Species in genus: ± 17 species: s North America, Caribbean
Etymology: (Greek: thyme-leaved)
Reference: [Strother 1986 Sida 11:371–378]


T. pentachaeta (DC.) Small var. belenidium (DC.) Strother

Subshrub 1–3 dm
Stems generally many, slender, very leafy
Leaves opposite, 1–2 cm, pinnately divided into 3–5 stiff, linear lobes, dotted with tiny glands, puberulent
Inflorescence: heads radiate, solitary; peduncles 2.5–4.5 cm; involucre 3.5–6 mm diam; outer phyllaries 3–5, short-triangular; inner phyllaries 13 in 2 series, 5–6 mm, gland-dotted, outer linear, ciliate, inner wider
Ray flowers generally 13; ligules 2–3.5 mm, yellow
Disk flowers: corollas 2.5–3 mm
Fruit 2–3 mm, puberulent; pappus of 10 scales, each 2.5–3 mm, dissected into 3 awns (or 5 of the 10 truncate, ± 1 mm)
Chromosomes: 2n=26
Ecology: Dry roadsides, gravelly slopes
Elevation: 900–1800 m.
Bioregional distribution: San Jacinto Mountains, eastern Mojave Desert
Distribution outside California: to Texas, n Mexico; also in s S.America
Flowering time: Apr–Jun
Synonyms: Dyssodia p. (DC.) B.L. Rob. var. b. (DC.) Strother; D. thurberi (A. Gray) B.L. Rob
Horticultural information: TRY.

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