Monoptilon bellioides (A. Gray) H.M. Hall

Desert Star
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)


Desert stars are low desert annuals usually only an inch or two high with short bristly herbage.  The leaves are alternate, entire, linear to spatulate, and about 1/2" long.  The radiate heads look like daisies and are terminal on the branchlets, with white rays and a yellow disk.  Desert stars are prevalent on sandy and rocky flats below 3000' in both deserts.  It blooms from February to May, and may also be seen blooming in September.  It is frequently to be found in the company of woolly daisy, Eriophyllum wallacei. These pictures were taken in an area on the southern boundary of Joshua Tree National Park. A related and smaller species, M. bellidiforme, is to be found in the Mojave Desert.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Monoptilon 2) bellioides.
Pronunciation: mon-OP-ti-lon be-lee-OH-i-dees.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.