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Snake's Head
Malacothrix coulteri
About Snake's Head (Malacothrix coulteri) 0 Nurseries Carry This Plant Malacothrix coulteri is a species of flowering plant in the aster family known by the common name snake's head, or snake's head desertdandelion. It is native to the southwestern United States is also found in southern South America where it is an introduced species. Its native habitat includes desert, grassland, chaparral, and other open, sandy areas. It is an annual herb producing a waxy, upright flowering stem up to about 50 centimeters in maximum height. The leaves, which are mostly located near the base of the stem, are toothed or not. The flower cluster is an array of flower heads with nearly spherical involucres of scale-like phyllaries one to two centimeters wide. The leafs are green, often with dark striping or marking. The yellow or white ray florets are about a centimeter long.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Plant Type
Annual herb

1.6 ft tall

Flower Color
Flower Color

Wildlife Supported

Butterflies & moths hosted ( 4 likely * ) SHOW ALL
Heliolonche pictipennis Image
Heliolonche pictipennisHeliolonche pictipennis
Cucullia comstocki Image
Cucullia comstockiCucullia comstocki
Heliolonche joaquinensis Image
Heliolonche joaquinensisHeliolonche joaquinensis

Landscaping Information
Full Sun

Soil Drainage
Soil Drainage

Sunset Zones
Sunset Zones?
7*, 8*, 9*, 10*, 11*, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17, 18, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Natural Setting
Site Type
Site Type
Sandy, open places, in, grassy places, deserts

Annual Precipitation: 3.2" - 23.8", Summer Precipitation: 0.13" - 2.59", Coldest Month: 39.8" - 60.3", Hottest Month: 64.8" - 87.7", Humidity: 0.86" - 42.55", Elevation: 63" - 5336"

Alternative Names
Common Names: Snake's Head Desertdandelion, Snake's-head, Snakehead Desertdandelion

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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