Stephanomeria cichoriacea A. Gray

Chicory-Leaved Stephanomeria
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)


Chicory-leaved stephanomeria, also known as Fort Tejon milk-aster and chicoryleaf wirelettuce, is an erect, woody-based herbaceous perennial growing to 4' tall from a large root crown with milky sap, stout stems that are simple or branched, and herbage that is woolly when young and glabrate later.  The leaves are alternate, oblanceolate to oblong, sessile, entire or with a few salient or retrorse teeth, and acute-tipped.  There is a well-developed basal rosette and the cauline leaves are reduced upwards.  Also, the leaves remain on the plant through its flowering period.  The ligulate flower heads are on short, bracted peduncles with about twelve to fifteen (sometimes more) ray flowers that are 5-lobed, pink to purplish, and 1/2" to 3/4" long.  Stamens and pistils are present on each flower and the many involucral bracts are graduated in several series and imbricated.  The fruit is a weakly 5-angled, unbeaked, smooth achene with a pappus of brownish to dull gray plumose bristles. This species of Stephanomeria is usually found on rocky slopes and canyon cliffsides in chaparral and coastal sage scrub below 6000' from the Santa Ana and San Bernardino Mountains to Monterey Co. and inland to the Tejon Pass.  It blooms from August to October.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Stephanomeria 2) cichoriacea.
Pronunciation: stef-an-oh-MEER-ee-a si-kor-ee-AY-see-a.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.