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Vascular Plants of California
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Dimorphotheca ecklonis

Higher Taxonomy
Family: Asteraceae (Compositae)View DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual to tree. Leaf: basal and/or cauline, alternate, opposite, rarely whorled, simple to 2+ × compound. Inflorescence: 1° inflorescence a head, resembling a flower, of several types (see below), 1--many in generally +- cyme-like cluster; each head generally with +- calyx-like involucre of 1--many series of phyllaries (involucre bracts); receptacle of head flat to conic or columnar, paleate (bearing paleae = receptacle bracts) or epaleate; flowers 1--many per head. Flower: bisexual, unisexual, or sterile, +- small, of several types (see below); calyx 0 or modified into +- persistent pappus of bristles, scales, and/or awns; corolla radial or bilateral (0), lobes generally (0)3--5; stamens 4--5, filaments generally free, generally fused to corolla at tube/throat junction, anthers generally fused into cylinder around style, anther base generally rounded or cordate (deeply sagittate or with tail-like appendages), tip (= flattened appendage) generally projecting beyond pollen sac; pistil 1, 2-carpeled, ovary inferior, 1-chambered, 1-seeded, placenta basal, style 1, tip generally +- 2-branched (except in some staminate disk flowers), branch tips truncate or generally bearing +- brush-like appendages; stigmas 2, generally on adaxial faces of style branches. Fruit: achene (also called a cypsela) (drupe in Chrysanthemoides), cylindric to ovoid, sometimes compressed, generally deciduous with pappus attached.
Genera In Family: +- 1500 genera, 23000 species: worldwide, many habitats. Note: Flower and head types differ in form and sexual condition. A disk flower has a generally radial corolla, with a cylindric tube, expanded throat, and generally 5 lobes. Disk flowers are generally bisexual and fertile but occasionally staminate with reduced ovaries. Discoid heads comprise only disk flowers. A radiant head is a variant of a discoid head, with peripheral disk flower corollas expanded, often bilateral. A ray flower corolla is bilateral, generally with a slender tube and flattened petal-like ray (single lip composed of generally 3 lobes). Ray flowers are generally pistillate or sterile (occasionally lacking styles). Radiate heads have peripheral ray flowers and central disk flowers. Disciform heads superficially resemble discoid heads, with pistillate or sterile flowers that lack rays, together with or separate from disk flowers. A ligulate flower is bisexual, with a bilateral, generally ephemeral corolla and 5-lobed ligule. Liguliflorous heads comprise only ligulate flowers. See glossary p. 31 for illustrations of family characteristics. Echinops sphaerocephalus L., Gaillardia aristata Pursh, Gaillardia pulchella Foug., Hymenothrix loomisii S.F. Blake, Tagetes erecta L., Thelesperma megapotamicum (Spreng.) Kuntze are waifs. Melampodium perfoliatum Kunth, historic urban waif. Ageratum conyzoides L., Guizotia abyssinica (L. f.) Cass., Santolina chamaecyparisus L., orth. var. are rare or uncommon escapes from cultivation. Dyssodia papposa, Ismelia carinata (Schousb.) Sch. Bip. [Chrysanthemum carinatum Schousb.], Mantisalca salmantica (L.) Briq. & Cavill. are historical or extirpated waifs in California. Inula helenium L. not documented in California. Taxa of Aster in TJM (1993) treated here in Almutaster, Doellingeria, Eurybia, Ionactis, Oreostemma, Sericocarpus, Symphyotrichum; Chamomilla in Matricaria; Bahia in Hymenothrix; Cnicus in Centaurea; Conyza in Erigeron and Laennecia; Dugaldia in Hymenoxys; Erechtites in Senecio; Hymenoclea in Ambrosia; Lembertia in Monolopia; Osteospermum ecklonis in Dimorphotheca; Picris echioides in Helminthotheca; Prionopsis in Grindelia; Raillardiopsis in Anisocarpus and Carlquistia; Schkuhria multiflora in Picradeniopsis; Trimorpha in Erigeron; Venidium in Arctotis; Whitneya in Arnica. Amauriopsis in TJM2 (2012) treated here in Hymenothrix; Arida in Leucosyris; Bahia in Picradeniopsis; Eucephalus in Doellingeria.
Unabridged Note: Largest family of vascular plants in California and of eudicots globally.
eFlora Treatment Author: David J. Keil, except as noted
Scientific Editor: David J. Keil, Bruce G. Baldwin.
Genus: DimorphothecaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, subshrub. Stem: prostrate to erect, generally branched. Leaf: generally alternate, simple, entire to pinnately lobed. Inflorescence: heads radiate, generally 1; peduncle long; involucre hemispheric or bell-shaped; phyllaries in 1--2 series, linear to lanceolate; receptacle flat or convex, epaleate. Ray Flower: <= 20, generally fertile; ray oblong, 3-toothed, adaxially yellow, orange, pink, purple, or white, sometimes abaxially blue or purple. Disk Flower: many, bisexual or staminate; corolla tube very short, throat long, yellow or purple; anther base sagittate, short-tailed, tip ovate or triangular-ovate; style with distal collar of hairs, branches very short, appendages widely obtuse. Fruit: ray fruit 3-angled, smooth or tubercled, glabrous, angles sometimes narrowly winged; disk fruit (or sterile ovary) smooth, obovate, flattened, winged, glabrous; pappus 0.
Species In Genus: 19 species: southern Africa. Etymology: (Greek: 2 forms of fruits) Note: Dimorphotheca pluvialis (L.) Moench not naturalized.
eFlora Treatment Author: David J. Keil
Reference: Strother 2006 FNANM 19:380--381, 382--383
Unabridged Reference: Nordenstam 1994 Compositae Newsletter 25:46--49
Dimorphotheca ecklonis DC.
Habit: Subshrub, +- puberulent and minutely stalked-glandular. Stem: <= 1 m, erect or ascending, branched distally or throughout. Leaf: 3--6 cm, slightly fleshy; proximal wing-petioled, distal +- sessile; blade linear-oblong to obovate, entire or sparingly dentate. Inflorescence: heads 1 or in leafy cyme-like clusters, 4--7 cm diam; involucre +- bell-shaped; phyllaries 12--15 mm, lance-linear, acuminate, narrowly scarious-margined. Ray Flower: ray 2.5--3.5 cm, adaxially white and abaxially blue-purple, sometimes deep violet at base or adaxially pink-purple to rose-purple and abaxially purple or deep rose-purple. Disk Flower: staminate (but ovary enlarging); corolla 5--6 mm, blue-purple. Fruit: ray fruit 5--8 mm, faces ribbed; sterile disk ovary 5--8 mm.
Ecology: Uncommon. Disturbed places, beaches; escape from cultivation; Elevation: < 200 m. Bioregional Distribution: CCo, SCo, PR; Distribution Outside California: native to southern Africa. Flowering Time: Generally Mar--Jul(+- all year in cultivation) Note: Many cultivated forms are hybrids with Dimorphotheca fruticosa and combine species features; these may escape or persist from cultivation.
Synonyms: Osteospermum ecklonis (DC.) Norl.
Jepson eFlora Author: David J. Keil
Reference: Strother 2006 FNANM 19:380--381, 382--383
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Botanical illustration including Dimorphotheca ecklonis

botanical illustration including Dimorphotheca ecklonis


Citation for this treatment: David J. Keil 2012, Dimorphotheca ecklonis, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 16, 2022.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2022, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on August 16, 2022.

Dimorphotheca ecklonis
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer
Dimorphotheca ecklonis
click for enlargement
© 2009 Neal Kramer

More photos of Dimorphotheca ecklonis in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Dimorphotheca ecklonis:
CCo, SCo, PR
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map of distribution 1
(Note: any qualifiers in the taxon distribution description, such as 'northern', 'southern', 'adjacent' etc., are not reflected in the map above, and in some cases indication of a taxon in a subdivision is based on a single collection or author-verified occurence).


Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
View all CCH records
All markers link to CCH specimen records. The original determination is shown in the popup window.
Blue markers indicate specimens that map to one of the expected Jepson geographic subdivisions (see left map). Purple markers indicate specimens collected from a garden, greenhouse, or other non-wild location.
Yellow markers indicate records that may provide evidence for eFlora range revision or may have georeferencing or identification issues.

CCH collections by month

Duplicates counted once; synonyms included.
Species do not include records of infraspecific taxa, if there are more than 1 infraspecific taxon in CA.
Blue line denotes eFlora flowering time (fruiting time in some monocot genera).