Desert dandelion is a few-branched, glabrous
annual growing to about 16" tall. The leaves are mostly basal,
2" to 5" long, oblanceolate to obovate, pinnatifid into narrow
lobes or with well-spaced teeth. The flowering heads are large and showy,
pale to bright yellow, sometimes white, with only ray flowers to approximately
3/4" long. The outer phyllaries are lanceolate, ± 1/2 the
inner, and sometimes short-hairy. Desert dandelion grows in coarse soils
of both deserts, dry sandy plains, washes and among shrubs in creosote
bush scrub, joshua tree woodland and shadscale scrub to 6000', and occasionally
in some of the inner cismontane valleys from San Diego County to Santa
Barbara County. It blooms from March to June and when rainfall has been
sufficient sometimes covers the desert with yellow.
Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Malacothrix
Pronunciation: ma-la-KO-thrix gla-BRAY-ta.
Click here for Botanical