Cirsium occidentale var. californicum

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Variety californicum occurs in both coastal and interior mountains of California from the northern South Coast Range and the northern Sierra Nevada to the mountains of southwestern California. Considerable variation exists in head size, corolla color, and in length and display of phyllary appendages. In several areas of its range, the predominantly white- to light purple-flowered var. californicum occurs with red-flowered var. venustum. These plants are highly interfertile (H. Wells 1983; D. J. Keil and C. E. Turner 1992). Introgressive hybridization among them has resulted in a variety of emergent phenotypes and may have contributed to the variation within var. californicum.