Common name: Yellow Pincushion
Latin name: Chaenactis glabriuscula
Height: 4-14 inches
Description: Stems generally 1–few, erect to spreading; hairs thinning with age. Inflorescence: heads 1–several per stem; Flowers: corollas bright to deep yellow, outer greatly enlarged.
Leaf: Coarse, fern-like gray-green foliage; < 11 cm, ± cobwebby, fleshy or not; the largest of which the margin is smooth or 1–2-pinnately lobed.
Range: North Coast Ranges, Sierra Nevada Foothills, Tehachapi Mountain Area, Great Central Valley, Central Western California, Southwestern California, w edge Desert
Habitat: Generally dry open places, sometimes dunes or on serpentine soils.
Elevation: < 1600 m.
Flowering time: Apr-Jun
Notes: Pincushion flowers are common spring wildflowers throughout the North American deserts. These green, erect annuals are so-named because they have discoid, rayless flower heads resembling the shape of a pincushion.
Photographed March 17, 2006, Kern County, Calif.
A dicot, is an annual herb that is native to California and Baja California. Widespread near the Antelope Valley California Poppy Reserve.
A highly variable species with some forms like Chaenactis steviodes. Variety lanosa grows in the Inner South Coast Ranges, South Coast, Transverse Ranges, nw edge Sonoran Desert.
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.
Photo tips: Most digital point-and-shoot cameras have a macro function - usually symbolized by the icon of a little flower. When you turn on that function, you allow your camera to get closer to the subject, looking into a flower for example. Or getting up close and personal with a bug. More on desert photography.
Mojave Desert Wildflowers - This book is the standard by which all other wildflower books are measured. The author, Jon Mark Stewart, has combined super photography with concise information. This book has an entire color page for each wildflower covered, with a discussion of the wildflower. 210 pages with 200 color photos. More...
What's Blooming Now - Check the Wildflower Reports
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The Desert Environment
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Desert Geological Terms