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Xantus Pincushion
Chaenactis xantiana
About Xantus Pincushion (Chaenactis xantiana) Nurseries Show All Photos Chaenactis xantiana (Mojave pincushion or Xantu's pincushion), is a flowering plant in the family Asteraceae, native to the western United States, from southeastern Oregon, Nevada, eastern California and western Arizona. It is very common in the Antelope Valley in the Mojave Desert, and grows in sandy soils. It is an annual plant growing to 50 centimeter tall. The leaves are somewhat succulent, 3-7 centimeter long and 3-4 millimeter broad, in a basal rosette on the young plants which wither away during flowering, and spirally arranged leaves on the flowering stem; they are green, finely flecked with white scales giving an overall grayish color to the plant. The flowers are produced in a capitulum 3-6 centimeter diameter, and are white in color.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

Max. Height
1.6 ft (0.49 m)

Flower Color
White, Green

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Sandy places


Elevation ?
362' - 9276'

Annual Precip. ?
3.6" - 39.7"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 2.88"

Coldest Month ?
26.2° F - 59.0° F

Hottest Month ?
50.7° F - 87.9° F

Humidity ?
1.08 vpd - 39.98 vpd


Sunset Zones ?
1, 2, 3, 7*, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 14*, 15*, 16*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Landscaping Information
Nursery Availability
Rarely Available

Other Names
Common Names
Fleshcolor 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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