E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Askellia pygmaea (Richardson) W.A. Weber
dwarf hawksbeard
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Ed McMackin  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #87252)

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Distribution of Askellia pygmaea
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Species Information

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Perennial herb from a taproot and woody base; stems spreading, several to many, simple or more often branched, glabrous, 2-20 cm tall.
Basal leaves numerous, spoon-shaped to orbicular or egg-shaped, long-stalked, 1-8.5 cm long, 0.2-2.5 cm wide, entire, obtuse, glabrous, often purplish; stem leaves similar to the basal, fewer, reduced.
Heads with strap-shaped flowers, several to more often numerous, usually in a rounded, compact inflorescence; involucres 7-13 mm tall, cylindric; involucral bracts glabrous, the outer ones 5-8, lanceolate, tapering to a slender tip, less than 1/2 as long as the 8-12 inner ones, these oblong, narrowed to the obtuse tips, purplish and fringed with small hairs, becoming thickened near the base; receptacles glabrous; ray flowers yellow, 7-9 mm long.
Achenes golden brown, mostly 4-7 mm long, subterete, columnar, scarcely to evidently narrowed or tapering to a slender tip above, or sometimes with a short beak less than 0.5 mm long, about 10- to 13-ribbed, the ribs smooth or faintly wrinkled; pappus white, of fine soft, hairlike bristles, deciduous.
Some of our material, namely taller specimens, has been designated as ssp. ramosa Babc. Further study is required to show that this is not merely an environmentally-induced form without taxonomic significance. Two other infraspecific taxa, var. clivicola Leggett and var. lyratifolia (Turcq.) Hult. also remain doubtful.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Habitat / Range

Moist to mesic sandy, gravelly slopes, talus and scree in the subalpine and alpine zones; frequent throughout BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; circumpolar, N to AK, E to NF and S to UT, NV and CA, Eurasia.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

Synonyms and Alternate Names

Askellia nana

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References