& Arn.) Nutt.
California-aster, aka common corethrogyne, lessingia, cudweed-aster, sand-aster or woolly aster, is an erect-ascending, slender, glabrous to tomentose perennial subshrub. It is a highly variable species which the Munz Flora of Southern California assigns 11 variants to. The Jepson Manual has now lumped them all together under variant filaginifolia, merely stating that the variants need further research. The leaves are alternate, lanceolate to oblanceolate, sometimes toothed, from 3/4" to 2-1/2" long and reduced and sessile above. The radiate flowering heads are solitary or clustered and terminal. The phyllaries are much imbricated, linear to narrowly lanceolate, with green or purplish recurved tips. There are 10-43 ray flowers with purple, pink or white ligules which have 3 tiny, sometimes almost unnoticeable lobes, and numerous yellow, tubular disk flowers. The achenes have pappi of free, reddish-brown bristles. California-aster is an extremely abundant, common and widespread plant in coastal sage scrub, southern oak woodlands and grasslands, and on dry, brushy chaparral slopes. It grows to 8000' and may be found in a variety of montane environments. It is fairly ubiquitous in Southern California and blooms from about June to December. In older floras it was first listed in genus Corethrogyne before being assigned to Lessingia, and is now relisted as Corethrogyne.
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Corethrogyne 2) filaginifolia.