Rangeland Aster

Hirpicium diffusum

inflorescence of nearly prostrate asteraceae, Hirpicium, Eldoret, Kenya, photo © by Michael Plagens

Inflorescence (head) of a yellow-flower composite from Eldoret, Kenya. December 2012. The heads are about 8mm tall and rays extend to 10mm in diameter. Habitat is a rocky hill with shallow soil and heavy grazing pressure; a photo is posted on Panoramio.

This composite was found growing very low on a rocky hillside where goats are herded. Numerous, very white plumose bristles top the seeds. Most of the foliage was just a few cm high. Frida StÄngberg is preparing a taxonomic treatment of the genus Hirpicium and provided the possible identification for this plant.

  • Ray Flowers: The ray flowers are yellow with a distinct maroon central band. The tips are conspicuously toothed.
  • Disc Flowers: The disc flowers are yellow and number 10 to 20.
  • Phyllaries: Two or three series of long- to very long-accuminate phyllaries. There are red-tipped hairs and the phyllary tips are also reddish.
  • Pappus: numerous, very white awns with plumose margins.
  • Leaves: The leaves are lance-shaped to linear with accuminate tips. There are none to four narrow lobes.

Asteraceae -- Sunflower Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, Created on 7 March 2013,
updated 24 February 2014