118. Sphaeromeria Nuttall, Trans. Amer. Philos. Soc., n. s. 7: 401. 1841.
False sagebrush, chickensage [Greek sphaira, sphere, and meros, a part, alluding to the capitate arrays of heads in S. capitata]
Timothy K. Lowrey, Leila M. Shultz
Perennials or subshrubs, (1–)5–60(–70) cm (usually aromatic). Stems 1–5+ (with interxylary cork), lax to erect, branched from bases or throughout, glabrous or sericeous to tomentose (hairs medifixed), usually gland-dotted as well. Leaves mostly basal (sometimes in rosettes) or basal and cauline; alternate; petiolate or sessile; blades obovate to cuneate or linear, usually 1–2-pinnately or -palmately lobed (ultimate lobes oblanceolate to linear) or apically 3-toothed or -lobed, ultimate margins entire, faces glabrous or ± sericeous to tomentose and usually gland-dotted. Heads disciform, borne singly or (2–60+) in usually corymbiform, rarely paniculiform, arrays or in subcapitate clusters. Involucres hemispheric to campanulate, 3–5(–12) mm diam. Phyllaries persistent, (8–)12–20+ in 2–3+ series, mostly obovate, unequal to subequal, margins and apices (colorless, pinkish, or brownish) scarious. Receptacles conic to nearly flat (villous in S. potentilloides), epaleate. Ray florets 0 (peripheral pistillate florets 4–15+; corollas ± filiform, lobes usually 3). Disc florets 30–50+, bisexual, fertile; corollas usually bright yellow (ochroleucous in S. cana), tubes ± cylindric, throats ± campanulate, lobes 5, ± deltate (tips glabrous or hairy). Cypselae columnar or obovoid to obconic, ribs 2–3 or 5–10, faces glabrous or gland-dotted (pericarps with myxogenic cells only in S. potentilloides, without resin sacs); pappi usually 0 (of 3–5 subulate scales in S. compacta). x = 9.
Species 9 (8 in the flora): w United States, nw Mexico.
Holmgren, A. H., L. M. Shultz, and T. K. Lowrey. 1976. Sphaeromeria, a genus closer to Artemisia than to Tanacetum (Asteraceae: Anthemideae). Brittonia 28: 255–262.