Flower Color: White with yellow or purple centers, fragrant, quickly withering; ligulate flower only, about a 1 inch (25 mm) in diameter; few to many heads; the bracts or phyllaries surrounding the heads are in 2-4 series; fruit is a club-shaped cypsela with a white pappus.
Flowering Season: February or March to April or May.
Elevation: Up to 2,500 feet (760 m); below 4,500 feet (1,400 m) in California.
Habitat Preferences: Dry desert slopes and mesas, Creosote Bush scrub; desert valleys and washes in California.
Recorded Range: Parachute Plant is found in the deserts of the southwestern United States, mostly in the Mojave Desert in AZ, CA, NV, UT. In Arizona it may be found in La Paz, Mohave and Yuma counties. This species is also native to northwestern Mexico (Sonora, Baja California).
The genus Atrichoseris was published by Asa Gray in 1884.
Comments: Large populations of Parachute Plant are found in southeast California and southeast Nevada and in Borrego State Park and Death Valley National Park. Atrichoseris platyphylla appears to found in greater numbers in the Mojave desert although it is also found in the Sonoran desert. The type species is from near Fort Mohave (Cooper), Arizona.
Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
Seeds of Atrichoseris platyphylla may likely be eaten by birds and small mammals.
Special Value to Native Bees, Butterflies and Insects
Parachute Plant, Atrichoseris platyphylla, may attract insects including butterflies and possibly bees and other small insects.
The genus Atrichoseris Atrichos'eris: from the Greek athrix, "without hair," and seris, a cichoriaceous genus. The genus Atrichoseris was published by Asa Gray in 1884.
The species epithet "platyphylla" (platyphyl'la:) broad-leaved, a reference to the leaves in the basalrosette.