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Vascular Plants of California
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Rudbeckia californica

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, Eucephalus, 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.
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: RudbeckiaView DescriptionDichotomous Key

Common Name: CONE-FLOWER
Habit: Annual to perennial herb. Stem: erect, simple or sparingly branched. Leaf: simple, basal and cauline, alternate, petioled or distal sessile; blade entire, toothed or pinnately lobed. Inflorescence: heads radiate or discoid, 1--few, terminal; peduncle long, stout; involucre disk-shaped; phyllaries +- equal or unequal in 1--3 series, spreading or reflexed; receptacle generally columnar to conic or +- spheric, paleate; paleae oblong, entire, folded around fruits, hairy distally. Ray Flower: 0 or 7--21, sterile; corolla yellow, ray 2--6 cm. Disk Flower: many; corolla green-yellow to dark brown-purple, diam of tube and throat +- equal; anther tip triangular; style tips rounded or blunt-triangular to long-tapered. Fruit: oblong, +- 4-angled; pappus a crown of fused scales or 0.
Species In Genus: 23 species: North America. Etymology: (O.J. Rudbeck, 1630--1702, and O.O. Rudbeck, 1660--1740, botany professors at Uppsala, Sweden)
eFlora Treatment Author: Lowell E. Urbatsch
Reference: Urbatsch & Cox 2006 FNANM 21:44--60
Rudbeckia californica A. Gray
Habit: Perennial herb; rhizome stout. Stem: 6--18 dm, generally unbranched, glabrous. Leaf: 10--60 cm, 5--15 cm wide, blade lanceolate to ovate or elliptic, entire, coarsely toothed or pinnately lobed; abaxially hairy. Inflorescence: head radiate, 1; peduncle 2--6 dm; outer phyllaries 1--2 cm, linear-oblong, > inner; receptacle 1.5--6 cm, ovoid to columnar; paleae +- green. Ray Flower: 8--21; ray 2--6 cm, often reflexed. Disk Flower: corolla 4--5 mm, green-yellow. Fruit: 4--5 mm, glabrous; pappus scales 1--1.5 mm. Chromosomes: 2n=36.
Ecology: Meadows, seeps, mires; Elevation: 800--2600 m. Bioregional Distribution: SNH. Flowering Time: Jul--Aug
Jepson eFlora Author: Lowell E. Urbatsch
Reference: Urbatsch & Cox 2006 FNANM 21:44--60
Index of California Plant Names (ICPN; linked via the Jepson Online Interchange)

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Citation for this treatment: Lowell E. Urbatsch 2012, Rudbeckia californica, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=4584, accessed on October 21, 2020.

Citation for the whole project: Jepson Flora Project (eds.) 2020, Jepson eFlora,, accessed on October 21, 2020.

Rudbeckia californica
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Breckling
Rudbeckia californica
click for enlargement
© 2018 Barry Rice
Rudbeckia californica
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Breckling
Rudbeckia californica
click for enlargement
© 2018 Barry Rice
Rudbeckia californica
click for enlargement
© 2018 Barry Rice
Rudbeckia californica
click for enlargement
© 2009 Barry Breckling

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Geographic subdivisions for Rudbeckia californica:
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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).


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Data provided by the participants of the  Consortium of California Herbaria.
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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.
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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).