Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Atrichoseris platyphylla, Parachute Plant

Parachute Plant has showy white I inch flowers with yellow or purple centers. This species blooms from February to May and grows at elevations up to 2,500 in Arizona and higher in California. Atrichoseris platyphyllaParachute Plant has daisy type flowers known as ligulate or strap-like. The bracts or phyllaries on the bottom of the flower are in 2 to 4 series. Atrichoseris platyphyllaParachute Plants may be as large as 3 feet with erect spindly branches and a few or many showy flowering heads. The stems are often glaucous or purplish. This species in primarily found in the Mojave Desert and in wet years may be common in Boreago State Park and Death Valley National Park. Atrichoseris platyphyllaParachute Plants has primarily basal or rosette-like leaves with purple spots on the bottom and purple mottled spots on the top parts of the leaf. The leaves are without stems or taper to a short winged-like stem. Margins are with spiny-like teeth. Atrichoseris platyphylla

Scientific Name: Atrichoseris platyphylla
Common Name: Parachute Plant
Also Called: Gravel-ghost, Tobacco-weed
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Malacothrix platyphylla)
Status: Native
Duration: Winter annual
Size: 8 to 36 inches tall.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; plants glabrous, erect spindly scape is branched above; several or many-headed; stems with milky sap.
Leaves: Glaucous, gray green, purple tinged; leaves basal, lowest leaves often flat on soil; leaves sessile or tapering to a short winged petiole; obovate, margins with spiny-like teeth; purple spotted or mottled.
Flower Color: White with yellow or purple centers; flowers ligulate; flowers about an inch in diameter; few or many heads, phyllaries in 2-4 series; quickly withering.
Flowering Season: March to April; February to May in California.
Elevation: Up to 2,500 feet; below 4,000 feet in California.

Habitat Preferences: Sandy or stony slopes and mesas; desert valleys and washes in California.

Recorded Range: Parachute Plant is found in 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.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Atrichoseris platyphylla.

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

Genus Information: In North America there is 1 species and 1 accepted taxa overall for Atrichoseris. World wide, The Plant List includes 1 accepted species names and includes a further 0 infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States: There is 1 species of Atrichoseris in the southwestern United States. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

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 found in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts. The type species is from near Fort Mohave (Cooper), Arizona.

Date Profile Completed: 11/15/2016, updated format 10/08/2017
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 11/14/2016)
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 11/14/2016).
David J. Keil, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 19, 20 and 21 | Asteraceae | Atrichoseris A. Gray in A. Gray et al., Syn. Fl. N. Amer. 1(2): 410. 1884.; Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. (accessed ).
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet [accessed: 11/15/2016]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 11/15/2016),779,780
SEINet synonyms, scientific names, geographic locations, general information - (accessed 11/15/2016).