Plants 20-150 cm. Involucres 12-20 mm. Ligules surpassing phyllaries by 5-7 mm. Cypselae light tan or sordid, 9-14 mm, including very slender beaks 5-7 mm; pappi of 6-15, wholly plumose bristles, barbs straight, separate. 2n = 16.
Flowering Apr-Jun. Open places in coastal sage scrub, chaparral, oak woodlands in northern and coastal California and southwestern Oregon (often found after fires), Upper Sonoran Zone; 100-1500 m; Ariz., Calif., Nev., Oreg.; Mexico (Baja California).
FNA 2006, Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Erect annual 20-150 cm tall, much branched above, glabrous. Leaves: Oblong to oblanceolate in outline, denticulate to coarsely and shallowly or finely pinnatifid, upper leaves usually entire, lowermost to 20 cm long and petiolate, middle and upper ones sessile and auriculate-clasping. Flowers: Heads paniculate or cymosely arranged at tips of branchlets; involucres 12-20 mm high and 12 mm wide; phyllaries 7-20 in a single series, linear-lanceolate, equal with scarious margins; ray florets 15-30, corollas white, sometimes with rose or purplish veins beneath, surpassing phyllaries by 5-7 mm. Fruits: Light tan or dingy cypselae, 9-14 mm, with very slender beaks 5-7 mm, dull white, dingy or tawny pappus bristles 6-15. Ecology: Found among shrubs and along the margins of open areas from 3,000-5,000 ft (914-1524 m); flowers March-May. Distribution: OR, CA, NV, AZ; south to n MEX (Baja California) Notes: Distinguished by the rays only surpassing the phyllaries by 5-7 mm, as opposed to 15-20 mm in R. neomexicana, as well as having a smaller cypselae body, a longer beak and plumose pappus bristles. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Rafinesquia is named for Constantine Samuel Rafinesque-Schmaltz (1783-1840) a 19th century botanist, while californica means of or from California. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley, 2010