Jepson eFlora: Taxon page
Vascular Plants of California
Key to families | Table of families and genera
Previous taxon Index to accepted names and synonyms:
| A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M |
| N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z |
Next taxon

Eriastrum diffusum


Higher Taxonomy
Family: PolemoniaceaeView DescriptionDichotomous Key
Habit: Annual, perennial herb, shrub, vine. Leaf: simple or compound, cauline (or most basal), alternate or opposite; stipules 0. Inflorescence: cymes, heads, clusters, or flower 1; bracts in involucres or not. Flower: sepals generally 5, fused at base, translucent membrane generally connecting lobes, torn by fruit; corolla generally 5-lobed, radial or bilateral, salverform to bell-shaped, throat often well defined; stamens generally 5, epipetalous, attached at >= 1 level, filaments of >= 1 length, pollen white, yellow, blue, or red; ovary superior, chambers generally 3, style 1, stigmas generally 3. Fruit: capsule. Seed: 1--many, when wetted swelling or not, gelatinous or not.
Genera In Family: 26 genera, 314 species: America, northern Europe, northern Asia; some cultivated (Cantua, Cobaea (cup-and-saucer vine), Collomia, Gilia, Ipomopsis, Linanthus, Phlox). Note: Leptodactylon moved to Linanthus.
eFlora Treatment Author: Robert W. Patterson, family description, key to genera, except as noted
Scientific Editor: Robert W. Patterson, Thomas J. Rosatti.
Genus: EriastrumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: WOOLLY-STAR
Habit: Annual, perennial, or subshrub; often woolly, glandular or not. Stem: generally erect, branching from base or above, sometimes unbranched. Leaf: cauline, alternate, entire to pinnately lobed; lobes generally linear or lanceolate. Inflorescence: terminal, head-like or flower occasionally 1, bracted, lightly to densely woolly; bracts leaf-like; flowers sessile or subsessile. Flower: calyx lobes equal to unequal, lightly to densely woolly, sometimes glandular-puberulent; corolla funnel-shaped to salverform, radial or bilateral, white or blue to purple or yellow; stamens fused to corolla at base, equal or unequal, anthers sagittate, pollen white to blue; ovary 3-chambered, style included or exserted, stigma 3-lobed. Fruit: capsule loculicidal. Seed: 1--11 per chamber.
Etymology: (Greek: woolly star)
eFlora Treatment Author: Sarah J. De Groot
Reference: De Groot 2016 Aliso 34(2):25--152.
Eriastrum diffusum (A. Gray) H. Mason
Habit: Annual, often diffusely branched from base or above, or unbranched in small plants, densely woolly to subglabrous. Stem: erect or spreading, 1--25 cm, thin, wiry, generally subglabrous, often brown. Leaf: 4--26 mm, lobes 0 or 1--5, lateral lobes 1--7.5 mm. Inflorescence: terminal, lightly to densely woolly, 3--20-flowered. Flower: calyx 4--7.5 mm, woolly, sometimes glandular, lobes subequal to unequal; corolla generally 5.5--11(12) mm, funnel-shaped, tube (2)3--5.6 mm, white, straight or curved, throat +- 0.5--2 mm, yellow or yellow-spotted, tube + throat 3.4--7 mm, lobes 1.5--4 mm, blue to cream or white, sometimes with reddish dots or stripes at base; stamens exserted 0.5--2.3 mm beyond corolla sinuses, attached +- 0.3--1.5 mm below sinus, free portion 1--3.5 mm, subequal to unequal, anthers +- 0.4--1 mm; pistil 3.9--8.4 mm, ovules +- 2--7 per ovary chamber. Fruit: capsule +- 2.7--4 mm, tan. Seed: +- 1--1.7 mm, tan to light brown, mostly angular.

Jepson eFlora Author: Sarah J. De Groot
Reference: De Groot 2016 Aliso 34(2):25--152.
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Eriastrum densifolium subsp. sanctorum
Next taxon: Eriastrum diffusum subsp. coachellae

Please use this Google Form for Contact/Feedback

Citation for this treatment: Sarah J. De Groot 2023, Eriastrum diffusum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, Revision 12,, accessed on July 13, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on July 13, 2024.

Eriastrum diffusum
click for image enlargement
©2015 Steve Matson
Eriastrum diffusum
click for image enlargement
©2006 Steve Matson
Eriastrum diffusum
click for image enlargement
©2020 Steve Matson
Eriastrum diffusum
click for image enlargement
©2006 Steve Matson
Eriastrum diffusum
click for image enlargement
©2010 James M. Andre

More photos of Eriastrum diffusum
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Eriastrum diffusum:
1. You can change the display of the base map layer control box in the upper right-hand corner.
2. County and Jepson Region polygons can be turned off and on using the check boxes.
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 occurrence).


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 Flowering-Fruiting Monthly Counts

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).