Chaenactis artemisiifolia (A. Gray) A. Gray

White Pincushion
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

White pincushion is perhaps a not very useful common name since most of the other pincushions are white, but it is certainly less awkward than artemisia-leaved pincushion. It is a stout erect annual branched above the middle and typically reaching some 3'-4' in height, although sometimes taller.  The herbage is farinose (that is, covered with a mealy, powdery substance) below and glandular-hirsute (somewhat sticky) above.  The leaves are alternate, deltoid to narrowly ovate in overall outline, 2-3-pinnately cleft into many irregular linear segments, and up to 6" long. Pincushions have discoid flower heads and white pincushions are hemispheric, generally several per stem on fairly long peduncles, with the 1/4" corollas all radial and nearly uniform. The involucres are densely glandular-puberulent and the disk flowers are white or pinkish and lack a pappus. Found on burns and other disturbed areas, on dry open slopes in coastal sage scrub and chaparral up to 5000', it ranges from the Santa Monica Mts to the Transverse and Peninsular Ranges, and blooms from April to July.  These pictures were taken along the Backbone Trail in the Santa Monicas between Encinal Road and Zuma Ridge Motorway.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Chaenactis 2) artemisiifolia.
Pronunciation: kee-NAK-tis ar-tem-is-ee-i-FO-lee-a.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.

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