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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.


Elizabeth McClintock

Annual, perennial herb, ± aromatic
Stems low, erect or creeping, generally branched
Leaves alternate, entire, lobed, or dissected
Inflorescence: heads disciform, solitary; phyllaries in 2 or more series, narrowly scarious-margined; receptacle flat or convex, naked or roughened by persistent flowering stalks
Pistillate flowers in 1–several series, borne on slender stalks; corolla 0; ovary flattened
Disk flowers many, very small, bisexual or functionally staminate, sessile or short-stalked; corolla tubular, 4-lobed, yellow; style and stamens included; anther tips ovate, bases rounded or ± cordate; style branches truncate with shrub-like tips
Fruit of pistillate flowers compressed front-to-back, winged; fruit of disk flowers unwinged or wing narrow; pappus 0
Species in genus: ± 80 species: mostly in s hemisphere
Etymology: (Greek: "small cup," for sheathing leaf bases of some species)


C. coronopifolia L.


Stems generally < 50 cm, ± fleshy, glabrous, decumbent, rooting from nodes
Leaves 2–7 cm, linear to lanceolate or oblong, entire or irregularly toothed or lobed into widely linear to lanceolate divisions; base forming a fused sheath around stem
Inflorescence: heads 6–15 mm diam; phyllaries in 3 ± unequal series
Pistillate flowers in 1 series
Disk flowers many, subsessile; corollas ± 1 mm, bright yellow
Fruit: marginal achenes 1.5–2 mm, widely winged, ± = stalks; inner achenes 1–1.5 mm, not or scarcely winged, nearly sessile
Chromosomes: 2n=20
Ecology: Common. Saline and freshwater marshes along coast
Elevation: < 300 m.
Bioregional distribution: North Coast, Central Western California, South Coast
Distribution outside California: native to s Africa

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