Malacothrix glabrata A. Gray

Desert Dandelion
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)


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 2) glabrata.
Pronunciation: ma-la-KO-thrix gla-BRAY-ta.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.