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California Goldfields

Lasthenia californica

Desert Goldfields, Lasthenia californica, photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed along the Bush Highway north of Usery Pass and Mesa, Maricopa County, Arizona, USA on Mar. 27, 2010.

FLOWERS: Diminutive annual of spring which often makes up for its small size by its abundance. Blooms mostly March to April. Rays are yellow and disc flowers a little darker. Each little sunflower is about the size of an American nickle.

ANNUAL: A low-growing, winter-spring annual plant appearing only in years with good winter rains.

LEAVES The leaves, opposite on the stems, are finely divided into narrow segments.

RANGE: Grows on flat open places with gravel or sandy soils in the deserts of California to southwestern New Mexico.

FRUIT: The small seeds have a low crown of scales atop each.

Asteraceae -- Sunflower Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2010