8. Taraxacum californicum Munz & I. M. Johnston, Bull. Torrey Bot. Club. 52: 227. 1925.
Taraxacum ceratophorum (Ledebour) de Candolle var. bernardinum Jepson
Plants 3.5–10(–20) cm (to 30 cm in fruit); taproots branched. Stems 1–10+, ascending to decumbent (at and after flowering) (occasionally erect), usually purplish, (mostly at or below foliage before fruiting) glabrous, often cobwebby-villous basally. Leaves 10–20, horizontal to patent; petioles usually broadly, sometimes narrowly winged; blades oblanceolate to narrowly oblong, sometimes linear-oblanceolate, 5–12 × 1–2(–3) cm, bases cuneate, margins toothed or denticulate, occasionally with basal lobes, rarely some entire, lobes straight or slightly retrorse, lanceolate to triangular-long-acuminate, teeth narrowly to broadly triangular, straight to retrorse, apices obtuse to rounded or ± acute, faces glabrate or glabrous. Calyculi 9–12, appressed, green, sometimes ± hyaline, often purplish, ovate-lanceolate to broadly ovate bractlets in 2 series, 5–7 × 1.7–4.3 mm, margins hyaline, purplish (at least distally) or white, scarious, apices acuminate to long-acuminate or widely caudate, tips ± rounded, erose, hornless. Involucres green, tips purplish gray, broadly campanulate, 11–16 mm. Phyllaries 12–16 in 2 series, lanceolate to lanceolate-linear, 2–3.5 mm wide, margins not or narrowly scarious, sometimes broadly so basally, hyaline, apices rounded, erose, scarious. Florets: corollas pale yellow, outer abaxially striped pale purplish, 9–10 × 1.5–2. Cypselae pale brown, bodies obovoid, flattened, 2.2–2.7 mm, cones narrowly conic, 0.5–0.7 mm, beaks slender, 6–9.5, ribs 15–16, narrow, faces muricate distal 2/3–3/4; pappi creamy, 4.5–5.5 mm. 2n = 16.
Flowering late spring–summer. Moist alpine meadows in yellow pine forest zone; 1900–2400 m; Calif.
Taraxacum californicum is known only from the San Bernardino Range. It is easily distinguished from T. ceratophorum by the lack of horns on the phyllaries and bractlets of calyculi.