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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.


Scott Sundberg

Perennial to shrub, dioecious, sometimes aromatic, often ± sticky-resinous
Stems erect, channeled
Leaves cauline, alternate, simple, reduced to bracts above
Inflorescence: heads discoid and disciform, borne in terminal or lateral racemes, panicles or cymes; phyllaries overlapping in several series; receptacle naked or chaffy
Disk flowers generally many, functionally staminate; corollas white to pink-tinged; ovary much reduced; pappus of bristles < involucre
Pistillate flowers generally many; corollas thread-like, ± whitish
Fruit ± cylindric, 4–10-ribbed; pappus of many bristles > involucre
Species in genus: 250–400 species: Am
Etymology: (Latin: Bacchus, god of wine)
[Boldt 1989 Baccharis TX Agric Exp Sta, College Station]


B. vanessae Beauch.


Shrub < 2 m from root crown, generally glabrous, sticky
Stems: branches dense, erect, often leafless at flower, glabrous (except glandular-puberulent below heads)
Leaves sessile, 1–45 mm, linear, entire; principal veins 1
Inflorescence: heads in a raceme or open panicle, or few-headed clusters; involucre funnel-shaped, 5.5–6.8 mm, phyllaries in 4 series, narrowly tapered, thick, rounded on back, generally glandular-puberulent, tip acute to long-tapered; receptacle ± convex, honeycombed, puberulent, chaff 0
Staminate flowers 15–22; corollas 4 mm; pappus 4 mm
Pistillate flowers ± 25; corollas ± 2.5 mm
Fruit 2–3 mm, puberulent; pappus 7–10 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=18
Ecology: Chaparral in Torrey-pine forest, on sandstone
Elevation: 60–335 m.
Bioregional distribution: s South Coast, nw Peninsular Ranges (San Diego Co.).Threatened by development.

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