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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; sap milky
Stem 1–3 dm, branched, glabrous below, with tack-shaped glands above
Leaves: basal and lower cauline petioled, 1–2-pinnately divided into long, linear lobes, glabrous; cauline alternate, gradually or abruptly reduced, upper sessile
Inflorescence: heads ligulate, showy, solitary or in open, few-headed cymes; phyllaries in 2 series, scarious-margined, outer short, wide, inner many, linear; receptacle minutely bristly, otherwise naked
Flowers many; ligules yellow or white, readily withering
Fruit 5–6-ribbed, tapered to short beak; pappus white, of many slender bristles that fall together
Species in genus: 2 species: sw US, nw Mex
Etymology: (Greek: cup-like chicory)


C. wrightii A. Gray

Stem: glands pale
Leaf 4–10 cm
Inflorescence: heads 3–4 cm diam; involucre 10–15 mm
Flower: ligules white, often purple-tinged, especially below
Fruit 5–8 mm, roughened on ribs; pappus 5–6.5 mm
Chromosomes: 2n=14
Ecology: Desert washes, gravelly slopes, desert plains
Elevation: 150–1150 m.
Bioregional distribution: White and Inyo Mountains, Desert
Distribution outside California: to Utah, Texas
Flowering time: Mar–May

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