Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Calycoseris wrightii, White Tackstem

White Tackstem is a member of the Asteraceae and one of the prettiest spring wildflowers in the southwest United States deserts. Calycoseris wrightii White Tackstem has straw colored visible glands on the upper parts of the stems and on the flowering parts as well. Calycoseris wrightii White Tackstem blooms in early spring from February to June in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts. Plants grow up to 12 inches more or less. Calycoseris wrightiiWhite Tackstem has straw colored glands on many flowering parts, seen on a young bud. Calycoseris wrightii White Tackstem has filiform alternate leaves that may grow up to 4 inches in length. This species grows at elevations from 500 to 4,000 feet. Calycoseris wrightii

Scientific Name: Calycoseris wrightii
Common Name: White Tackstem
Also Called: Desert Chickory, Tackstem
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: ()
Status: Native
Duration: Annual, winter annual.
Size: Up to 12 inches more or less.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; low, branching; glabrous except for conspicuous light straw colored glands on upper part of stem and on the flowering parts.
Leaves: Green; alternate; up to 4 inches long, fine almost inconspicuous, pinnatisect into narrowly linear or filiform divisions.
Flower Color: White, purple-tinged below; flowers strap-like or ligulate; fruit an achene.
Flowering Season: March to May; March to June in California.
Elevation: 500 to 4,000 feet, Arizona and California.

Habitat Preferences: Common on desert plains in caliche soils, desert washes, rocky mesas and slopes, stream bottoms, limestone gravels; often in creosote or mesquite associations.

Recorded Range: Calycoseris wrightii is found in the southwestern United States in AZ, CA, NV, NM and extreme western TX. It is also native to Baja California and Sonora Mexico. In Arizona it is found in central, western and southeastern parts of the state.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Calycoseris wrightii.

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 are 2 species and 2 accepted taxa overall for Calycoseris. World wide, The Plant List includes 2 accepted species names and includes a further 2 infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States: Arizona, California, Nevada and Utah each have 2 species of Calycoseris, New Mexico and Texas each have 1 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

Comments: White Tackstem, is considered to be one of the prettiest spring flowers in desert habitats. This species thrives in both the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts.

White Tackstem is similar in size and shape to the closely related Yellow Tackstem, Calycoseris parryi, which differs by its yellow flowers and with a greater preference for the Mojave Desert.

The genus Calycoseris is a combination of the Latin root "calyx" meaning cup; and "seris", (plural of sere) meaning a kind of chicory.
The specific epithet wrightii is named for Charles Wright (October 29, 1811 – August 11, 1885), an American botanist and teacher from Wethersfield, Connecticut. Mr. Wright graduated from Yale College in 1835 and is known primarily for collections from the southwestern United States, Mexico and Cuba. In Texas he collected from Galveston to San Antonio and then on the El Paso. He also contributed in the United States and Mexican Boundary Survey of 1848.
Date Profile Completed: 11/18/2016, updated 09/15/2017, updated format 10/10/2017
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 11/17/2016)
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 11/17/2016).
L. D. Gottlieb, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 19, 20 and 21 | Asteraceae | Calycoseris wrightii A. Gray, Smithsonian Contr. Knowl. 5(6): 104, plate 14. 1853.; Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford.
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 11/18/2016),864,866
SEINet synonyms, scientific names, geographic locations, general information - (accessed 11/18/2016).
Michael L. Charters; California Plant Names: Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations; A Dictionary of Botanical and Biographical Etymology; (accessed 09/15/2017)
Wiktionary contributors, 'calyx', Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary, 7 August 2017, 14:28 UTC,> [accessed 15 September 2017]
Wiktionary contributors, 'seris', Wiktionary, The Free Dictionary, 7 June 2017, 19:40 UTC,> [accessed 15 September 2017]
Wright, Charles (1811-1885); JSTOR, Global Plants (accessed 09/15/2017).
Wikipedia contributors, 'Charles Wright (botanist)', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 26 August 2017, 13:32 UTC, [accessed 15 September 2017]