Bristly ox-tongue is a coarse, rough-bristly
annual or biennial growing to 32" tall and having stout, erect
stems. The alternate leaves are coarse-toothed to shallowly lobed
and have short bristly spines on the upper surface. They are lanceolate
to ovate, 2" to 8" long, the lower leaves tapering to wing-petioled,
and the upper sessile, sometimes clasping. The showy yellow flowering
heads are ligulate on short axillary peduncles or terminal on the ends
of branches. The involucre is 15-20mm and consists of 2 series
of phyllaries. The outer phyllaries are somewhat leaflike, ±
ovate-cordate, spreading to ascending, and spine-tipped, while the inner
ones are almost hidden and are more slender, smaller, and tapering to
a point. The fruit is a rugose achene which is beaked, brownish
and has a pappus of white plumose bristles. Bristly ox-tongue
is common and abundant in waste places, fields, gardens and grassy areas,
and is widespread in the California Floristic Province, blooming from
June to December. It is a native of the Mediterranean region.
These pictures were taken on the Backbone Trail in the Santa Monica
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Helminthotheca
Pronunciation: hel-min-tho-THEE-ka ek-ee-OH-i-dees.
Click here for Botanical
Formerly Picris echioides.