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

Helenium bigelovii

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; Viguiera in Aldama and Bahiopsis; 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: HeleniumView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Habit: Annual, perennial herb, 10--160 cm. Stem: erect, unbranched or branched distally, generally +- winged by decurrent leaf bases, glabrous or +- hairy. Leaf: basal and cauline; basal, proximal cauline leaves often withered by flowering, alternate, simple, entire, toothed or lobed, glabrous or +- hairy, gland-dotted. Inflorescence: heads radiate or discoid, hemispheric to ovoid or +- spheric, 1 or generally in panicle-like or +- flat-topped clusters; involucre shallowly cup- or disk-like, phyllaries in 2 series (in California), free or +- basally fused, +- equal (or outer longer), generally reflexed in fruit; receptacle conic, +- spheric, hemispheric, or ovoid, pitted, epaleate. Ray Flower: 0 or 7--34, pistillate (in California), corolla yellow (in California), ray fan-shaped, 3-lobed. Disk Flower: 75--1000+; corolla generally 5-lobed, yellow, purple, or proximally yellow to yellow-green and distally +- brown or purple; anther tip triangular; style tips truncate. Fruit: obpyramidal, ribbed, glabrous or +- hairy; pappus of 5--12 membranous scales.
Etymology: (Helen of Troy)
eFlora Treatment Author: Mark W. Bierner
Reference: Bierner 2006 FNANM 21:426--435
Unabridged Reference: Bierner 1972 Brittonia 24:331--355
Helenium bigelovii Torr. & A. Gray
Habit: Perennial herb 3--13 dm. Stem: 1--3(10), unbranched or sparingly branched distally, generally weakly winged, glabrous or sparsely hairy. Leaf: glabrous or sparsely hairy; basal oblanceolate to oblong-elliptic, entire; cauline oblong-elliptic to lanceolate to linear, entire. Inflorescence: heads 1--20, 12--20 mm, (14)17--22(25) mm diam; peduncle (6)10--30 cm, sparsely to moderately hairy; phyllaries basally fused; receptacle 4--8 mm diam, +- spheric. Ray Flower: 14--20; corolla 13--25 mm. Disk Flower: 250--500(800+); corolla 3--4.4(4.8) mm, proximally yellow, distally yellow to brown to purple. Fruit: 1.8--2.4 mm, +- hairy; pappus scales 6--8, 1.3--2.2(2.7) mm, awn-tipped. Chromosomes: 2n=32.
Ecology: Wet meadows, marshes, bogs, fens, streambanks, lake margins; Elevation: < 3400 m. Bioregional Distribution: KR, NCoR, CaR, SN, deltaic GV, CW, TR, PR; Distribution Outside California: Oregon. Flowering Time: Jul--Aug
Unabridged Synonyms: Heleniastrum bigelovii (A. Gray) Kuntze; Heleniastrum occidentale Greene; Heleniastrum rivulare Greene; Helenium rivulare (Greene) Rydb.
Jepson eFlora Author: Mark W. Bierner
Reference: Bierner 2006 FNANM 21:426--435
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

Previous taxon: Helenium autumnale
Next taxon: Helenium bolanderi

Name Search

Botanical illustration including Helenium bigelovii

botanical illustration including Helenium bigelovii

Please use this Google Form for Contact/Feedback

Citation for this treatment: Mark W. Bierner 2012, Helenium bigelovii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 23, 2024.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2024, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 23, 2024.

Helenium bigelovii
click for enlargement
©2006 George W. Hartwell
Helenium bigelovii
click for enlargement
©2009 Keir Morse
Helenium bigelovii
click for enlargement
©1995 Gary A. Monroe
Helenium bigelovii
click for enlargement
©2008 Chris Winchell
Helenium bigelovii
click for enlargement
©2008 Chris Winchell

More photos of Helenium bigelovii
in CalPhotos

Geographic subdivisions for Helenium bigelovii:
KR, NCoR, CaR, SN, deltaic GV, CW, TR, PR
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 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).