Lasthenia gracilis (DC.) Greene

Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)


Goldfields are low, slender, simple or freely branched annuals 2" to 6" (10") tall with spreading or appressed white hairs.  The opposite leaves are clasping at the base, entire-margined, hirsute to strigose-haired and narrowly linear with coastal forms being somewhat fleshy.  The radiate flowering heads are terminal on short stems, sometimes nodding in bud, with a campanulate to hemispheric involucre surrounded by 4-13 free, hairy, lance-ovate to oblong phyllaries.  There are 6-13 ray flowers which are yellow and may have three tiny lobes at the apex, and numerous yellow disk flowers.  Both anther and style tips are triangular in shape.  A pappus may or may not be present, but if it is, it has (2)4(6) opaque, white, lance-ovate scales.  Goldfields is common and abundant in many plant communities below 4500' both cismontane and at the western edges of the Mojave desert, and may usually be found blooming from February to June in coastal sage scrub, chaparral, valley grassland, creosote bush scrub and shadscale scrub. According to the 2nd edition of the Jepson Manual, this is Southern California's most common goldfields. Lasthenia californica ssp. californica comes into SoCal in the West Transverse Range, and has a pappus (if present) of 1–7 clear, brown, linear to awl-like, awn-tipped scales.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Lasthenia 2) gracilis.
Pronunciation: las-THEE-nee-a GRAS-il-is.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.
Formerly included in Lasthenia californica.