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Chaenactis macrantha
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Mojave Pincushion
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Chaenactis macrantha

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About Mojave Pincushion (Chaenactis macrantha) Chaenactis macrantha is a species of flowering plant in the daisy family known by the common names bighead dustymaiden and Mojave pincushion. It is native to the Great Basin and the southwestern deserts of the United States, in California, Arizona, Utah, Nevada, southwestern Idaho, and southeastern Oregon. It grows in dry, open habitat with gravelly, sandy soils, often calcareous or alkaline in nature. Chaenactis macrantha is an annual herb growing one or more branching stems to 30 - 35 centimeters (12-14 inches) in maximum height. The leaves are a few centimeters long and divided into many lobes. The inflorescence bears one or more flower heads on long peduncles. The flower head is lined with woolly phyllaries which have recurved tips. The head contains many white or pink-tinted flowers which open at night. The fruit is an achene about a centimeter long including the pappus.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

Max. Height
1.2 ft (0.37 m)

Flower Color
White, Cream

Native Status

Natural Setting
Elevation ?
688' - 6537'

Annual Precip. ?
2.4" - 17.8"

Summer Precip. ?
0.29" - 2.78"

Coldest Month ?
33.6° F - 57.3° F

Hottest Month ?
60.4° F - 85.9° F

Humidity ?
2.26 vpd - 42.86 vpd

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Never or Almost Never Available

Other Names
Common Names
Bighead Dustymaiden

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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