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Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus

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About Goldenhead (Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus) Acamptopappus spaerocephalus is a species of flowering plant in the aster family known by the common name rayless goldenhead. It is native to the southwestern United States, where it occurs in southern California, southern Nevada, southern Utah, and Arizona. This shrub or subshrub produces an upright, branching stem with shreddy whitish or gray bark. It approaches one meter in maximum height but generally grows to 20 to 40 centimeters. The gray-green leaves are linear or lance-shaped and are arranged alternately, sometimes growing in small clusters. They are hairless or have small, rough hairs. The inflorescence is a solitary flower head or a small cluster of heads. The head is hemispherical or spherical in shape. It has yellow disc florets and no ray florets. The fruit is an achene tipped with thick scales and bristles.
Plant Description
Plant Type

Max. Height
0.7 - 3.3 ft (0.21 - 1 m)

Flower Color

Flowering Season

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Rocky slopes and gravelly flasts

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
-15' - 8712'

Annual Precip. ?
3.0" - 30.4"

Summer Precip. ?
0.19" - 2.86"

Coldest Month ?
30.3° F - 59.6° F

Hottest Month ?
58.9° F - 88.8° F

Humidity ?
2.11 vpd - 40.46 vpd


Landscaping Information
Ease of Care
Moderately Easy

Water Requirement ?
Very Low
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Other Names
Common Names
Rayless Goldenhead

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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