Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus, Rayless Goldenhead

Rayless Goldenhead is a native perennial with attractive yellow flowers that blooms from April to October. Acamptopappus sphaerocephalusRayless Goldenhead has flowers that may be single or clustered heads on short stalks on tips of new grow stems. Acamptopappus sphaerocephalusRayless Goldenhead has small green linear or lanceolate leaves that are alternate along the stems. Lower leaves are fascicled or clustered. Acamptopappus sphaerocephalusRayless Goldenhead is a shrub or sub-shrub that is mostly smooth, erect or ascending branches at the woody base. Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus

Scientific Name: Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus
Common Name: Rayless Goldenhead
Also Called: Goldenhead
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: ()
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 3 feet
Growth Form: Shrub, subshrub; mostly glabrous, branching at base, ascending and erect, base woody, gray or whitish stems, new growth green, note; variety "hirtellus"; has small dense hairs.
Leaves: Green; small, alternate, linear, lanceolate or oblanceolate, appressed along stem, lower leaves fascicled or clustered.
Flower Color: Yellow; disk flowers only, 13 to many, flower heads spheric or globose, single or clustered heads on short stalks on tips of new growth stems, fruit an achene, pappus light to brownish bristles.
Flowering Season: April to October.
Elevation: 1,000 to 4,500 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Upper desert areas, pinyon-juniper communities, mountain slopes, open flats or plains, mesas, rocky areas and gravelly soil.
Recorded Range: A southwestern species in the United States, Rayless Goldenhead is found in AZ, CA, NV and UT. In Arizona, it occurs in the western half of the state and also in Graham County.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus.

U.S. Weed Information: No data available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available.
Wetland Indicator: No data available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No data available.

Genus Information: 2 species in Acamptopappus. Shockley’s Goldenhead, Acamptopappus shockleyi is found in southeastern California and southern Nevada. There are 2 varieties of Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus in Arizona;
Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus var. hirtellus, Rayless Goldenhead (AZ, CA, NV);
Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus var. sphaerocephalus, Rayless Goldenhead (AZ, CA, NV, UT).

Comments: Rayless Goldenhead is a southwestern species with a tendency or partiality of the majority of its populations toward the western geographic area of the Mojave Desert and some species extend north into the Great Basin Desert. Thus, Rayless Goldenhead is found in the Sonoran, Mojave and Great Basin Deserts.

Date Profile Completed: 9/10/2012 ; Updated, 07/25/2015, updated 10/27/2016
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles
Griffith, Randy Scott. 1991. Acamptopappus sphaerocephalus. In: Fire Effects Information System, [Online]. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fire Sciences Laboratory. [2016, October 27].
The Jepson Manual, Citation: Mon Sep 10 17:49:28 2012
Guy L. Nesom, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 20 | Asteraceae | Acamptopappus, Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford.
SEINet synonyms, scientific names, geographic locations, general information - (accessed 10/27/2016)
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search