Stephanomeria exigua Nutt. ssp. deanei (J.F. Macbr.) Gottlieb

Deane's wirelettuce
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)


Deane's wirelettuce, one of the Stephanomerias which bear various common names such as milk-aster or stephanomeria, is a glabrous to minutely glandular, much-branched annual growing typically from 2'-4' tall but sometimes taller. The basal rosette of leaves is usually withered by flowering time.  The lower stem leaves are pinnatifid with linear to lanceolate divisions and are auriculate-clasping.  The upper cauline leaves are small, linear and bractlike, and are also often absent at anthesis.  The structure of the inflorescence is variable, with some heads scattered and some paniculate, and with a range of between 5 and 8 ligulate flowers per head.  The involucres are between 6 and 7mm long with mostly appressed phyllaries, and the ligules are 6-8mm long, white to pinkish. Pappus bristles are plumose on upper two-thirds of their length.  This is a common species blooming from May to September or even December in dry places to about 5500' and is a part of many cismontane and desert plant communities in Southern California.  These pictures were taken on the Dripping Springs trail in the Agua Tibia Mts in December.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Stephanomeria 2) exigua 3) deanei.
Pronunciation: stef-an-oh-MEER-ee-a ex-IG-yoo-a DEEN-ee-eye.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.