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
Pronunciation: stef-an-oh-MEER-ee-a si-kor-ee-AY-see-a.
Click here for Botanical