Asteraceae (Compositae) (Sunflower Family)
This is the largest family represented. It includes shrubs as well as perennial herbs and dainty annuals. Flowers are borne in a head enclosed in a cuplike or cylindrical involucre made up of phyllaries (bracts). In the sunflower, for example, the center is composed of numerous tubular flowers, known as disk flowers, which vary from one to many. Ray flowers also vary in size and number, or may be entirely lacking. Flowers may be perfect, with both female and male parts, or may possess only one or the other. The ovary matures as a single fruit (achene), usually bearing a persistent pappus at the apex. The pappus may be: composed of fine bristles (plain or feathery), composed of scales, merely a ring, or lacking. The Chicory tribe of this family has only ray flowers. The strap-shaped "petals," known as ligules, are five-toothed at the apex.
Acamptopappus shockleyiGray. Shockley Goldenhead. (Plate 6.6) A small, rounded shrub 6–18 in (1.5–4.5 dm) high. Its white-barked, woody branches become spinescent. The small leaves are mostly spatulate, tapering to the base, 1/4–5/8 in (6–16 mm) long. The comparatively large flower heads tend to be spherical, about 1 in broad, with rays about 1/2 in (13 mm) long. The rounded phyllaries have tissuelike fringed borders. Achenes are plump with white, furry coats, and a pappus of white bristles. Flower: Golden yellow.
Distribution. Dry, rocky flats and washes; Desert Scrub, up to 6,500 ft (1,982 m).
Ambrosia dumosa(Gray) Payne. Burro-bush, Bur Sage.(Franseria dumosa) (Plate 6.7) A small, intricately branched shrub, 8–24 in (2–6 dm) high, with spinescent branches. The slender stems are leafy throughout, the leaves 1/2–1 inch (12–25 mm) long, grayish, and divided into short, rounded lobes. Flower heads are borne spikelike on the upper 2–3 in (5–8 cm) of the stems. The male and female flowers are borne on the same spikes. The heads are about 1/2 in (13 mm) broad, lacking rays, and the fruit is a spiny bur about the same size. Flower: Dull yellowish.
Distribution. A dominant shrub on desert slopes, commonly occurs with Creosote Bush or Shadscale; Desert Scrub, up to 5,000 ft (1,524 m).
Anisocoma acaulisTorr. & Gray. Scale Bud. (Plate 6.8) An annual with naked stems 2–8 in (5–20 cm) high. Leaves are 1 1/4–2 in (3–5 cm) long, toothed, and arranged in a basal rosette. Each stem bears a single head an inch or more across. This plant is in the Chicory tribe, so the flowers all have strap-shaped rays. The characteristic phyllaries have dark midribs and broad, papery margins. They are graduated in length, scalelike. Flower: Pale yellow.
Distribution. Limited, in sandy washes; Desert Scrub, below 7,000 ft (2,134 m).
Antennaria microphyllaRydb. Rosy Everlasting Flowers, Pussytoes.(Antennaria rosea) (Plate 6.9) A mat-forming perennial with whitish foliage. Flowering stems are 2–8 in (5–20 cm) high, with heads terminally clustered. The leaves, about 1 in (2.5 cm) long, are broadest toward the apex. Staminate and pistillate flowers are on different plants; the pistillate heads are about 1/4 in (6 mm) long, lacking rays. The abundant pappus of fine, white bristles and the dry, transparent phyllaries are the chief attractions of this plant. Flower: Bright white to rosy tinged.
Distribution. Somewhat moist places; Desert Scrub to Alpine Zone, 6,000–12,200 ft (1,829–3,720 m).
Other species of Antennaria in the range are similar but are smaller and less attractive. One that is more unusual is A. dimorpha:
Antennaria dimorpha(Nutt.) Torr. & Gray. Dwarf Everlasting. A perennial that forms dense gray-green mats. Stems are hardly an inch (2.5 cm) long, with the single heads fairly buried in the leaves. Flower: Phyllaries brownish.
Distribution. Rare; open places in the Pinyon-juniper Woodland and Bristlecone Forest; Inyo Mountains; 8,200–10,500 ft (2,755–3,201 m).
Artemisia tridentataNutt. Big Sagebrush, Great Basin Sagebrush. A large, silvery-gray shrub, usually 2–6 ft (1.6–2 m) tall, but grows to a height of 15 ft (5 m) in favorable sites. Trunks have shreddy bark and are 3–4 in (7–10 cm) or more in diameter. Leaves are 1/2–1 1/2 in (13–40 mm) long, wedge-shaped, usually with three blunt teeth at the apex, although those on the upper branches may lack teeth. Flowering stems rise above the leafy branches 6–16 in (1.5–4 dm) and are heavily laden with the small flowers. Flower: Inconspicuous; the general color of the inflorescence is gray.
Distribution. A dominant plant on dryish slopes and flats and in canyons where soil is deep and loamy; mostly at or below middle elevations but may occur in Desert Scrub to Subalpine Zone, up to nearly 11,000 ft (3,354 m).
Similar but smaller species of sagebrush are A. arbuscula and A. nova:
Artemisia arbusculaNutt. Dwarf Sagebrush. Usually less than 1 1/2 ft (0.5 m) high, with flowering stems rising above the leafy branches. Leaves are similar but shorter than for A. tridentata. Flower heads are short and plump, with five to nine flowers, and branches of the inflorescence are short and somewhat spreading. Flower: Phyllaries grayish.
Distribution. Exposed slopes and flats; Subalpine and Alpine zones, up to 12,000 ft (3,658 m).
Artemisia novaA. Nels. Broom Sagebrush. (Artemisia arbuscula Nutt. ssp. nova [A. Nels.] Ward) Similar to Dwarf Sagebrush, but the branches of the inflorescence are very slender and angled upward close to the stem. Heads are narrow, with three to five flowers. When dry, the stems are a warm tan color rather than gray and reveal their broomlike growth habit. Flower: Phyllaries smooth and greenish yellow, gray only at the base.
Distribution. Common on slopes and flats of limestone areas; Desert Scrub to Alpine Zone, 5,500–12,500 ft (1,677–3,811 m).
Brickellia argutaRobbins. Pungent Brickellbush. A small, much-branched shrub, 8–16 in (2–4 dm) high. Branches are rather brittle, usually densely leafy. Leaves are bright green, ovate and tapering to a sharp point, and usually sharply toothed, up to 3/4 in (2 cm) long. Each flowering stem carries a single head, 1/2 in (13 mm) or more long. Outer phyllaries are broad, shaped like miniature leaves, up to 1/2 in (13 mm) long, and sharply tapering; the inner phyllaries are narrower. Disk flowers do not exceed the abundant, pale bristles of the pappus in length, and ray flowers are lacking. Flower: Whitish to pink, but hidden in the pappus.
Distribution. Rocky canyon walls; Inyo Mountains; Desert Scrub Zone, 3,500–5,000 ft (1,067–1,524 m).
Brickellia oblongifoliaNutt. var. linifoliaD.C. Eat. Pinyon Brickellia. (Plate 6.10) A bushy perennial from a woody base. The numerous stems are 8–15 in (2–3.5 dm) high and leafy throughout, each bearing a single head. Leaves are pale green, elliptic to ovate, mostly less than 1 in (2.5 cm) long. Flower heads are about 1/2 in long, with striate phyllaries and only disk flowers. Flower: Whitish.
Distribution. Limited, in rocky places; mostly but not always in the Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 5,000–8,500 ft (1,524–2,591 m).
Calycoseris parryiGray. Yellow Tack-stem. (Plate 6.11) An annual with stems simple or branching, 4–12 in (1–3 dm) high. Leaves have linear lobes and are mostly on the lower portion of the plant. Stems have dark, tack-shaped glands. Typical of the Chicory tribe, the flower heads have strap-shaped rays. Flower: Yellow, commonly tipped with red.
Distribution. Limited, on desert flats or slopes; Desert Scrub Zone, up to 6,500 ft (1,982 m).
Calycoseris wrightiiGray. White Tack-stem. Similar to C. parryi but has pale tack-shaped glands. Flower: White, tipped with rose.
Distribution. Inyo Mountains; Desert Scrub Zone, up to 5,500 ft (1,677 m).
Chaenactis carphocliniaGray. Pebble Pincushion. (Plate 6.12) A slender, much-branched annual, 4–14 in (1–3.5 dm) high, with green foliage. The leaves, mostly near the base, are up to 2 in long but are divided into very slender segments and appear dainty. The flower heads, up to 1/2 in (13 mm) long, are terminal on the short upper branches. There are no ray flowers, but the disk flowers are full and attractive. The pappus consists of scales. Flower: White.
Distribution. Lower canyons and washes; Desert Scrub Zone, below 5,500 ft (1,677 m).
Chaenactis douglasii(Hook.) Hook & Arn. Douglas Pincushion. Erect biennial or short-lived perennial, 8–20 in (2–5 dm) high. Stems commonly reddish and usually branching, thinly woolly. Leaves are loosely white-woolly when young, with four to eight pairs of finely divided segments. The first growth is a most attractive rosette of leaves, and these remain as the basal leaves of mature plants, with a few reduced leaves on the stems. Heads are 1/2–3/4 in (13–20 mm) long, the tubular disk flowers are longer than the involucre, and the anthers protrude like pins in a pincushion. There are no ray flowers. The pappus consists of 10 tissuelike scales. Flower: Whitish to pinkish.
Distribution. Widespread; open, gravelly places; Desert Scrub to Subalpine Zone, 6,000–10,500 ft (1,829–3,201 m).
Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus(Hook.) Nutt. ssp.viscidiflorus.Curly Rabbitbrush. (Plate 6.13) A small evergreen shrub with white bark and brittle twigs, usually 4–24 in (3.5–6 dm) high. Typical leaves are bright green, 3/4–2 in (2–5 cm) long, and about 3/16 in (5 mm) wide, conspicuously twisted. There is considerable variation, however. Flowers are in small terminal clusters, with each head narrow and about 1/4 in (6 mm) high. Phyllaries in the rabbitbrushes are lined up in vertical ranks. Rays are lacking. Flower: Yellow.
Distribution. Common and widespread; Desert Scrub to Subalpine Zone, 5,700–11,000 ft (1,738–3,354 m).
Other subspecies at somewhat the same elevation are:
Ssp.axillaris(Keck) L.C. Anderson. Fine-leaved Rabbitbrush. Leaves very narrow; flower heads somewhat turbinate.
Ssp.puberulusD.C. Eat. Hall & Clements. Pinyon Rabbitbrush. Leaves grayish with fine hairs; stems very slender.
Cirsium nidulum(Jones) Petr. Red Thistle. (Plate 6.14) An erect, spiny perennial with stems up to 36 in (1 m) tall. Leaves are somewhat white-woolly, 8–16 in (1–4 dm) long, wavy margined and deeply lobed, with long, yellow spines. Heads are
twice as long as wide; they have a layered appearance, with the pappus exceeding the phyllaries, the rose-red disk flowers exceeding the pappus, and the anther tubes protruding above the flowers. This is truly a handsome thistle, and the only reddish one in the range. Flower: Rose red to red-purple.
Distribution. Rocky places; limestone areas; Pinyon-juniper Woodland to Subalpine Zone, 6,400–11,000 ft (1,951–3,354 m).
Crepis intermediaGray. Hawksbeard. (Plate 6.15) An erect perennial herb with branching stems, 12–24 in (3–6 dm) high. Leaves are grayish, irregularly cut and toothed, 6–16 in (15–40 cm) long at the base, reduced upward. The many flowering heads have slender involucres and the strap-shaped petals of the Chicory tribe. Flower: Yellow.
Distribution. Relatively common; Desert Scrub to Subalpine Zone 5,600–10,500 ft (1,707–3,201 m).
Encelia virginensisA. Nels. ssp. actonii(Elmer) Keck. Bush Sunflower, Brittlebush. (Plate 6.16) A low, rounded shrub, 1–3 ft (3–9 dm) high, with flowering stems rising above the leafy branches. Leaves are broadly ovate, gray-green, and 1–1 1/2 in (2.5–4 cm) long. Each stem bears a single head, about 1 1/2 in (4 cm) broad, with generous rays. Flower: Yellow.
Distribution. Commonly abundant along roadways and washes of the Inyo Mountains and the southern part of the White Mountains; Desert Scrub, below 6,000 ft (1,829 m).
Ericameria cooperi(Gray) Hall. Cooper Goldenbush. (Haplopappus cooperi [Gray] Hall) A small, green shrub, 9–24 in (2.2–6 dm) high, densely clothed with linear leaves up to 1/2 in (13 mm) long. Bundles of smaller leaves grow at the base of the primary ones, and these persist on the lower stems after the others have fallen. The inflorescence is flat-topped. Individual heads are barely 1/4 in (6 mm) long, with all disk flowers except for some with one or two rays. They bloom in the spring. Flower: Bright yellow.
Distribution. Common on desert slopes; Desert Scrub, below 6,500 ft (1,982 m).
Ericameria cuneata(Gray) McClatchie. Cliff Goldenbush.(Haplopappus cuneatus) A small, compact green shrub, 4–20 in (1–4.8 dm) high. Leaves are crowded, very glandular, wedge-shaped to roundish, rather thick, 1/4–3/4 in (6–20 mm) long. Flower heads are in compact cymes. Involucres are very narrow, with phyllaries in four to six series. There are few, if any, ray flowers. Flower: Yellow.
Distribution. Widespread; on cliffs; Desert Scrub to Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 5,000–8,800 ft (1,524–2,683 m).
Erigeron aphanactis(Gray) Greene. Gold Buttons. (Plate 6.17) A tufted perennial from a branching root crown, with flowering stems 3–10 in (7–24 cm) high. Basal leaves are 1–3 in (2.5–7.7 cm) long, widest toward the apex, narrowing to a long petiole. Leaves on the stem are much reduced. The foliage throughout is clothed with fine, spreading hairs. The heads, usually single, are rounded, 1/4–3/8 in (6–10 mm) high, lacking ray flowers. Flower: Yellow.
Distribution. Common in open places throughout the range; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 5,000–9,500 ft (1,524–2,896 m).
Erigeron argentatusGray. Nevada Daisy. (Plate 6.18) A densely tufted, silvery green perennial with flowering stems 4–16 in (1–4 dm) high. Leaves are narrowly linear or slightly broadened toward the end, 2–3 in (5–8 cm) long, mostly crowded at the base. The stems have a few reduced leaves, and each carries a single head. These are large and showy, about 1 1/2 in (4 dm) across. Flower: Disk yellow; rays lavender to lilac, or paler.
Distribution. Desert Scrub or Pinyon-jumper Woodland, 6,000–8,500 ft (1,829–2,591 m).
Erigeron clokeyiCronq. Clokey Daisy. (Plate 6.19) A tufted perennial with slender flowering stems 2–6 in high. The woody taproot branches below the surface and is densely clothed with the persistent stems of old leaves. Foliage is grayish with spreading, curved hairs. Leaves are linear, broader in their upper portion, tufted at the base, and well developed on the stems. Flower heads are terminal, 3/4–1 in (2–2.5 cm) across, including the petals, and fairly showy. Flower: Disk flowers yellow; rays mostly purple, but may be pink or bluish.
Distribution. Relatively common; dwarfed at high elevations; Pinyon-juniper Woodland to Alpine Zone, 8,000–12,500 ft (2,439–3,811 m).
Erigeron compositusPursh var. glabratusMacoun. Cut-leaf Daisy. (Plate 6.20) A perennial 2–6 in (5–15 cm) high, from a branching root crown. Leaves are mostly in a dense basal tuft, cushionlike. They are dissected two or three times into linear lobes. The involucres, about 1/4 in (6 mm) high, have thin, slender phyllaries, often purple-tinged. Rays are fine and numerous, or sometimes lacking. Flower: Disk flowers yellow; rays white, pink, or bluish.
Distribution. Rocky places and meadow borders; White Mountains; Subalpine and Alpine zones, 9,500–14,000 ft (2,896–4,268 m).
Note: Var. discoideus is a more compact form that occurs over much of the same range.
Gutierrezia microcephala(DC.) Gray. Threadleaf, Yellow-green Matchweed. A small yellow-green shrub with very slender branches and tiny flower heads. It is much branched above, strongly resinous, and 12–24 in (3–6 dm) high. Leaves are
well distributed but sparse, almost threadlike, and up to 2 in (5 cm) long. Flower heads are closely clustered, fairly covering the bush, and are only 1/8 in long and very narrow, each with only one or two disk and ray flowers. Flower: Yellow.
Distribution. Common in desert canyons and on open slopes; Desert Scrub to Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 3,500–7,000 ft (1,067–2,134 m).
Hulsea algidaGray. Alpine Gold. (Plate 6.21) A strongly glandular perennial from a branching rootstock. Leaves are 1 1/2–5 in (4–12 cm) long, green, narrowly oblong to elliptic, usually toothed, and in basal tufts as well as on the stems. Flowering stems are 6–10 in (1.5–2.4 dm) tall, each bearing a single head 1 1/2–2 in (4–5 cm) broad, including petals. The phyllaries are conspicuously glandular and also white-woolly. Flower: Yellow.
Distribution. Rocky places; White Mountains; Subalpine and Alpine zones, 10,000–14,230 ft (3,049–4,338 m).
Hulsea vestitaGray ssp. inyoensis(Keck) Wilken. Inyo Gold, Inyo Hulsea. (Plate 6.22) A perennial clump with single or branching flower stems 10–18 in (24–48 cm) tall. Leaves are mostly basal, 2–3 in (5–8 cm) long, spatulate, and irregularly toothed, with those on the stems reduced and usually elliptic. Although green and glandular, they are loosely woolly when young. Flower heads are large and showy, 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 in (4–6.4 cm) across, including petals. Flower: Yellow.
Distribution. Rare, calls for protection; loose shale slopes; Inyo Mountains; Desert Scrub, approximately 6,500 ft (1,982 m).
Hymenopappus filifoliusHook. var. nanus(Rydb.) Turner. Inyo Cutleaf. A grayish biennial or perennial 6–18 in high. The leaves, 1–3 in (2.5–8 cm) long, are densely and evenly tufted at the base and are twice divided into linear lobes. Flower heads are terminal on branches of nearly naked stems. The elliptic phyllaries, 1/4 in (6 mm) long, have pale tissuelike margins. There are no ray flowers. This plant strongly resembles Hymenoxys, but the latter has rays. Flower: Light yellow.
Distribution. Dry places; Desert Scrub to Subalpine Zone 5,500–10,200 ft (1,677–3,109 m).
Hymenoxys cooperi(Gray) Cockerell var.canescens(D.C. Eat.) Parker. Gray Goldenflower. (Plate 6.23) A biennial or perennial with erect, commonly reddish stems, 2–10 in (5–24 cm) tall. Leaves are gray-canescent, 1/2–2 in (13–50 mm) long, divided into three to five linear lobes, densely tufted at the base and on the lower stems. Above the middle the stems branch and bear a showy display of terminal heads, each about 1 1/4 in (3 cm) across, including rays. Flower: Yellow.
Distribution. Open places; Pinyon-juniper Woodland to Alpine Zone, 7,500–12,000 ft (2,287–3,658 m).
Layia glandulosa(Hook.) Hook & Arn. White Tidy-tips. (Plate 6.24) An annual, 4–12 in (1–3 dm) high, with simple or branched stems. Leaves are somewhat hairy; those at the base are toothed or lobed, and those on the stem have plain edges. Involucres are about 1/4 in (6 mm) high. The rays are broad with toothed ends. Although they are commonly called "daisies," they are not in the same tribe as the Erigerons. Flower: Disk flowers yellow, rays white.
Distribution. Sandy or gravelly places; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 5,000–8,500 ft (1,524–2,591 m).
Leucelene ericoides(Torr.) Greene. Heath Daisy. (Plate 6.25) A tufted, heathlike perennial from a deep running rootstock. Leaves are 1/4–3/8 in (6–10 mm) long, narrow and crowded, and quite gray. The leafy stems, 2–6 in (5–16 cm) high, are topped by daisylike flower heads 1/2–3/4 in (13–20 mm) broad. Flower: Disk flowers yellow, rays white to pink.
Distribution. Dry limestone areas, possibly restricted to dolomite; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 5,500–9,000 ft (1,677–2,744 m).
Machaeranthera canescens(Pursh) Gray. Sticky Aster. A biennial or short-lived perennial 8–24 in (2–6 dm) high. The stem is rigidly erect, usually racemosely branched in the upper portion. The leaves are oblanceolate and grayish with a fine, velvety surface; they are prickle-toothed on the edges. Those toward the base are 2–3 in (5–8 cm) long, on petioles equaling the blade. Leaves on the stem are gradually reduced upward. Flower heads, about 1/2 in (13 mm) high, are terminal, each with 6 to 10 series of phyllaries, their tips curved outward. Rays are 1/4 in (6 mm) long or more. Flower: Disk flowers yellow, rays bluish purple.
Distribution. Common but not abundant; Desert Scrub to Subalpine Zone, 5,000–10,300 ft (1,524–3,104 m).
Machaeranthera shastensisGray var. montana(Greene) Gong & Keck. Shasta Aster. Similar to M. canescens but only 2–8 in (5–20 cm) high. Leaves are more likely to be basal. They are spatulate, and the teeth are only weakly prickle-pointed. Branches of the inflorescence are short and close. The heads are smaller, with only two to five series of phyllaries. Flower: Same as M. canescens.
Distribution. Apparently limited to limestone areas; Pinyon-juniper Woodland and Subalpine Zone, 9,000–10,500 ft (2,744–3,201 m).
Perityle inyoensis(Ferris) Powell. Inyo Perityle.(Laphamia inyoensis) A perennial in dense, leafy clumps 5–10 in (12–27 cm) high. Foliage is green and clothed with soft hairs. Leaves are broadly ovate and evenly toothed, 1/4–1/2 in (6–12 mm) long. Heads are 1/4 in (6 mm) long, with disk flowers only. Flower: Yellow.
Distribution . Crevices in cliffs or rocky places; Inyo Mountains; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 5,900–8,500 ft (1,798–2,591 m).
Perityle megalocephala(Watson) J.F. Macbr. Tall Perityle. (Laphamia megalocephala Watson) A green perennial, somewhat woody at the base, with stems 12–22 in (3–5.4 cm) long. The leaves are so small and remote that the long, slender, tangled stems appear to be almost leafless. Leaves are ovate and minute, up to 3/8 in (1 cm) long. Heads are about 1/4 in (6 mm) long, lacking ray flowers. This species is variable and confusing. There may be more than one variety of it represented here. Flower: Yellow.
Distribution. Cliffs and rock crevices throughout the range; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 5,000–8,500 ft (1,524–2,591 m).
Petradoria discoideaL.C. Anderson. Rock Goldenrod. (Chrysothamnus gramineus Hall) A perennial with many slender stems, 10–24 in (2.7–6 dm) high, from a woody base. Leaves are stiff, narrowly lanceolate, 1–2 1/2 in (2.5–6 cm) long, and alternate on the stem, grasslike. Heads are narrow and in small, terminal clusters. Involucres are narrow and up to 1/2 in (6 mm) long, with four to six series of broad, stiff phyllaries, which are blunt and prickle-tipped. There are only a few disk flowers, well protruded, along with a pappus of dull-gold bristles. Ray flowers are lacking. Flower: Pale yellow.
Distribution. Uncommon; rocky limestone slopes or canyons; Inyo Mountains; Pinyon-juniper Woodland to Subalpine Zone, 7,500–9,500 ft (2,287–2,896 m).
Senecio canusHook. Rock Senecio. (Plate 6.26) A perennial with stems 3–12 in (7–30 cm) high from a branching root crown. Leaves are light gray, mostly tufted at the base, with those on the stem reduced. The blades are ovate with rounded ends, mostly 1/2–1 in (13–25 mm) long, on longer petioles. Heads are in terminal clusters, each with five to eight rays. Each head with rays measures about 3/4 in (2 cm) across. The pappus is gleaming white. Flower: Yellow.
Distribution. Open, rocky places; Pinyon-juniper Woodland and Subalpine Zone, 7,500–11,000 ft (2,287–3,354 m).
Senecio douglasiiDC. var. monoensis(Greene) Jepson. Mono Senecio. (Plate 6.27) A bushy perennial, 12–36 in (3–9 dm) high, with a somewhat woody base. In open places it is erect and rounded, but where it is protected it may sprawl in an irregular form. The foliage is green, with the leaves divided into very narrow linear segments. The stems branch above and are topped by numerous showy flower heads. The senecios commonly have small outer bracts at the base of the phyllaries, and these are quite obvious in this plant. Flower heads are about 1 in (2.5 cm) across, including rays. Flower: Yellow.
Distribution. Dry canyons; below Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 7,500 ft (2,287 m).
Senecio multilobatusTorr. & Gray. Basin Senecio. (Plate 6.28) A perennial with erect stems 6–15 in (1.5–3.6 dm) high. The attractive green foliage is densely tufted at the base. Leaves are 1–3 in (2.5–7.7 cm) long, including petioles, and are deeply cut into irregular lobes and toothed. The stems have a few leaves, and many flower heads are clustered above on very slender branches. Outer bracts of the involucres are poorly developed or lacking. Flower heads are 1/4 in (6 mm) high with about eight rays. Flower: Yellow.
Distribution. Common; White Mountains; Desert Scrub to Subalpine Zone, 5,600–10,500 ft (1,707–3,201 m).
Solidago multiradiataAit. Alpine Goldenrod. (Plate 6.29) A perennial herb from a branching root crown, with stems 2–12 in (5–30 cm) high. Leaves, mostly 1–2 in (2.5–5 cm) long, are oblanceolate or spatulate, tapering to the stems. Although tufted at the base, the stems are fairly leafy too. Heads are in dense terminal clusters and each about 3/16 in (5 mm) long, with very small rays. Flower: Yellow.
Distribution. Open, rocky places; White Mountains; Pinyon-juniper Woodland to Alpine Zone, 9,000–13,000 ft (2,744–3,963 m).
Stephanomeria pauciflora(Torr.) Nutt. Desert Milk-aster. (Plate 6.30) An intricately branched, bushy perennial, 12–18 in (3.0–4.5 dm) high, with a woody base. Basal leaves are 1–3 in long and deeply divided, but those on the stem are commonly reduced to scales. The plant appears to be a tangle of leafless branches with flowers of the Chicory tribe. The phyllaries have several short outer bracts at the base. The common name comes from the milky juice in the plant. Flower: Pink or paler.
Distribution. Common in Desert Scrub, up to 6,000 ft (1,829 m).
Stephanomeria spinosa(Nutt.) Tomb. Wool Cache Plant, Thorny Skeleton Plant.(Lygodesmia spinosa) (Plate 6.31) A perennial with rigid, spiny branches, 6–16 in (1.5–4 dm) high. It carries a tuft of woolly fibers at the base of the stem. There are some linear leaves below, but those above are reduced to mere scales, so the plant appears as a leafless, rounded little bush. The flower heads, scattered throughout, are only three- to five-flowered, similar to the Milk-aster. Flower: Rose to pink.
Distribution. Common on dry slopes; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 5,000–9,500 ft (1,524–2,896 m).
Tetradymia canescensDC. Gray Horsebrush. (Plate 6.32) A somewhat straggly shrub, 4–15 in (10–36 cm) high, with pale gray foliage. Leaves are linear, up to 3/4
in (2 cm) long and fairly dense on the stems. Flower heads are in terminal clusters. Each head has four disk flowers enclosed in four or five rigid, keeled phyllaries 1/4 in (6 mm) long. Flower: Yellow.
Distribution. Common on dry slopes; Pinyon-juniper Woodland to Subalpine Zone, 7,000–10,500 ft (2,134–3,201 m).
Note: There are other species of Tetradymia, common at lower elevations. All are larger, more rigid shrubs. All but one have needle-like spines on the branches.
Townsendia scapigeraD.C. Eat. Ground Daisy. (Plate 6.33) A small perennial with spatulate leaves tufted on the branches of a slender root crown. The entire plant is rarely more than 1 in (2.5 cm) high. The daisylike flower heads, 1/2–1 in (13–25 mm) across, barely exceed the leaves. A shining white pappus shows through the flowers. It is a charming little plant. Flower: Pink or lavender to almost white.
Distribution. Infrequent; Pinyon-juniper Woodland to Subalpine Zone, 8,800–10,200 ft (2,683–3,110 m).
Viguiera multiflora(Nutt.) Blake var.nevadensis(A. Nels.) Blake. Nevada Viguiera. (Plate 6.34) A perennial with erect, slender stems 10–18 in (2.4–4.5 dm) high. Leaves are narrowly lanceolate, 3/4–2 in (2–5 cm) long, with those on the stems opposite. Heads are showy, about 1 in (2.5 cm) broad, including rays. Flower: Rich yellow.
Distribution. Roadsides and canyons; Desert Scrub and Pinyon-juniper Woodland, 5,500–8,000 ft (1,677–2,439 m).
Xylorhiza tortifolia(Gray) Greene. Mojave Aster.(Machaeranthera tortifilia) (Plate 6.35) A bushy perennial, 10–28 in (2.4–7 dm) high. Leaves are linear to oblong, the wavy edges prickle-toothed, 1–3 in (2.5–8 cm) long. The lower part of the plant, to about halfway up the stems, is quite leafy. The heads are large and showy, up to 2 in (5 cm) across, including rays. They are general favorites of desert visitors. Flower: Disk flowers yellow, rays blue-violet to lavender or paler.
Distribution. Dry, rocky places; Desert Scrub, below 6,000 ft (1,829 m).