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Published In: Species Plantarum 2: 805. 1753. (1 May 1753) (Sp. Pl.) Name publication detailView in BotanicusView in Biodiversity Heritage Library

Project Name Data (Last Modified On 8/11/2017)
Acceptance : Accepted
Project Data     (Last Modified On 7/9/2009)
Status: Introduced


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34. Crepis L. (hawksbeard)

Contributed by David J. Bogler and George Yatskievych

Plants annual, biennial, or perennial herbs, taprooted (with rhizomes or woody rootstocks elsewhere). Latex white. Stems erect to loosely ascending, unbranched or branched, finely ridged, variously hairy or glandular. Leaves basal and alternate, glabrous or variously hairy and sometimes also glandular, sessile or short- to long-petiolate. Basal leaves with the blades (at least the largest) pinnately lobed, variously shaped, the margins otherwise entire or toothed, with 1 main vein visible and sometimes also a faint network of anastomosing secondary veins. Stem leaves similar to the basal ones, but often sessile, smaller, narrower, and generally less divided, the base with a pair of narrowly triangular clasping lobes. Inflorescences mostly terminal panicles, sometimes appearing as solitary heads or loose clusters at the stem or branch tips. Involucre not or only slightly elongating as the fruits mature, cup-shaped or somewhat bell-shaped, the bracts in 1(2) longer, inner series and 1 shorter, outer series, the inner bracts similar in size, mostly lanceolate, the margins sometimes thin and pale, the tip ascending at flowering; the outer bracts unequal in size, linear to broadly ovate, loosely ascending to spreading. Receptacle naked or sometimes with minute hairs around the base of each floret. Ligulate florets 10–70 per head. Corollas lemon yellow to orangish yellow, sometimes purplish-tinged on the undersurface. Pappus of numerous bristles, these white (slightly off-white in C. pulchra), often shed irregularly at fruiting. Fruits nearly cylindrical to narrowly oblong-elliptic in outline, beaked or not beaked, not flattened, circular or somewhat 5–10-angled in cross-section, with 10–20 longitudinal ribs, these often minutely roughened or barbed, glabrous, reddish brown to dark brown, the pappus attached to a sometimes expanded tip. About 200 species, North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa.

Crepis was the subject of a monumental monographic study by Ernest Babcock (1947a, b) that is still studied by students of plant taxonomy as a landmark publication in biosystematics.


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1 1. Stems pubescent with short, stiff, spreading, nonglandular hairs; fruits tapered abruptly to a slender beak ... 3. C. SETOSA

Crepis setosa
2 1. Stems glabrous or pubescent with curled, appressed, or gland-tipped hairs; fruits narrowed but not beaked at the tip

3 2. Stems sticky, densely pubescent with gland-tipped hairs toward the base, glabrous or nearly so toward the tip; fruits somewhat dimorphic, the inner ones shorter than the outer ones ... 2. C. PULCHRA

Crepis pulchra
4 2. Stems not sticky, sparsely to densely pubescent with nonglandular hairs at least toward the base and just below the heads, glandular-hairy only toward the branch tip; fruits all similar or nearly so

5 3. Involucral bracts glabrous on the inner surface; fruits 1.5–2.5 mm long, light brown to yellowish brown ... 1. C. CAPILLARIS

Crepis capillaris
6 3. Inner series of involucral bracts finely appressed-hairy on the inner surface; fruits 2.5–4.0 mm long, reddish brown to dark brown ... 4. C. TECTORUM Crepis tectorum
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