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Chaenactis stevioides
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Desert Pincushion
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Chaenactis stevioides

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About Desert Pincushion (Chaenactis stevioides) Chaenactis stevioides is a species of flowering plant in the daisy family known by the common names Esteve's pincushion and desert pincushion. It is native to the Great Basin of the United States and the southwestern deserts extending into Mexico, where it grows in open arid and semiarid habitat. It is "among the most abundant spring wildflowers in the higher Mojave Desert and southern Great Basin." This is an annual herb growing one or more erect stems up to about 45 centimeters tall. The stems are hairy with cobwebby fibers which thin with age. The leaves reach several centimeters in length and are divided into many subdivided lobes. The flower cluster bears several flower heads on a tall peduncle. Each head is lined with rigid, hairy and hairy phyllaries and filled with white, pink, or pale yellow flowers. The flowers around the edges are larger and open-faced, and the ones in the center of the head are smaller and somewhat tubular in shape. The fruit is an achene with a pappus of scales.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

Max. Height
1.5 ft (0.46 m)

Flower Color
White, Cream, Yellow, Pink

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Open places


Elevation ?
-128' - 10426'

Annual Precip. ?
2.7" - 46.6"

Summer Precip. ?
0.13" - 4.49"

Coldest Month ?
29.7° F - 62.5° F

Hottest Month ?
54.1° F - 89.1° F

Humidity ?
0.99 vpd - 42.79 vpd

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

Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Other Names
Common Names
Esteve's Pincushion

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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