Turtleback, Velvet turtleback

Psathyrotes ramosissima


Color: Yellow

Common name: Turtleback, or Velvet turtleback

Latin name: Psathyrotes ramosissima


Height: 2-6 inches

Description: Turtleback is a low, neatly mounded plant producing spreading stems which are hairless to densely woolly in texture. The knobby inflorescence is lined with woolly gray-green phyllaries with dull points that curve outward. It contains several hairy yellow disc florets.

Leaf: Leaves are borne on long stalks. The leaf blade is variable in shape, generally roughly rounded, and up to 2 cm long. It has a wavy, bluntly toothed edge and a bumpy, velvety surface coated in woolly fibers and shiny hairs. It is brownish to gray-green to very pale green in color.

Range: s East of Sierra Nevada, Desert

Habitat: Sandy creosote-bush scrub

Elevation: generally < 1000 m.

Flowering time: Mar–Jun

Notes: Psathyrotes ramosissima, a dicot, is an annual or perennial herb that is native to California and is also found outside of California, but is confined to western North America. This photo was taken on April 8, 2004 in Mule Canyon north of Barstow, San Bernardino County, California.

We have an online wildflower field guide that is designed to help you identify desert wildflowers by color, scientific name, region and common name. The pictures are sized to work on the iPod, iPhone, iPad and similar devices. With your iPod or phone you will easily be able to identify wildflowers while in the desert. Links for downloads are on the bottom of the Wildflower Field Guide page.

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