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Esteve's Pincushion
Desert Pincushion

Chaenactis stevioides

photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed in the Plomosa Mountains, La Paz County, Arizona, USA. March 1, 2009.

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FLOWERS: Flower heads are composed entirely of five-pointed disc florets, about two dozen per head. Those at margins of the head are slightly larger. Color in most specimens is white, however, some populations have pale yellow flowers. Blooming March and April in the Sonoran Desert and highly dependent on adequate rainfall - absent in drought years. The bracts surrounding the head blunt or pointed, but not sharply.

ANNUAL: Mid-sized annual of rocky slopes and wash banks normally less than 60 cm tall. Several branches to main stem.

LEAVES: Leaves are discected into linear segments. Under magnification cobwebby hairs present on petioles and leaves.

RANGE: Frequent throughout the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Mexico. Rocky slopes, wash banks and desert pavement.

FRUIT: Single seeds, achenes, develop from each floret and are topped by some small scales.

UNARMED. Spineless.

Asteracaceae -- Sunflower Family

More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2010