Chaenactis fremontii A. Gray

Fremont's Pincushion
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)


Fremont's or desert pincushion is a glabrous or slightly woolly-stemmed desert annual growing from 4" to 16" tall.  The leaves are generally glabrous, ± fleshy, the basal rosette withering by the time of flowering, the lower cauline leaves entire or once-pinnatifid into 1-5 well-separated lobes, and the upper are reduced, linear and entire. The white flowers are on long stems, all discoid, and the marginal ones are significantly enlarged and bilaterally lobed. The phyllaries are glabrous with tips that are acute, rigid and sharp, and the pappus of the disk flowers has four equal, lance-acuminate chaff scales.  The outer flowers have chaff scales that are smaller and unequal.  Fremont's pincushion is common on sandy or gravelly washes and slopes below 4000' on both deserts, and blooms from March to May. These pictures were taken at Anza-Borrego and Red Rock Canyon State Parks.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Chaenactis 2) fremontii.
Pronunciation: kee-NAK-tis FREE-mont-ee-eye.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.