Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Carphochaete bigelovii, Bigelow's Bristlehead

Bigelow's Bristlehead has brilliant white discoid flowers (only 3 to 4 flowers per head) with purplish throats. Note in the photograph that the corollas each have 5 pointed lobes with exserted stamens and numerous fine bristles surrounding the petal lobes. Carphochaete bigelovii Bigelow's Bristlehead has only 4 disk flowers; note in photograph of side view of bud, 2 of the 4 flowers. Also note rough, gland-dotted phyllaries subtending flowers. Carphochaete bigelovii   Bigelow's Bristlehead has only 4 disk flowers; note in photograph of side view of bud, 2 of the 4 flowers. Also note rough, gland-dotted phyllaries subtending flowers. Carphochaete bigeloviiBigelow's Bristlehead is found in a variety of habitat preferences which often include large and small rocks and boulders. There are found in upland Sonoran desert habitats, chaparral and pinyon-juniper and canyons. Carphochaete bigeloviiBigelow's Bristlehead has dull green leaves, mostly opposite and often fascicled on older growth. The leaves are linear or narrow elliptical and the margins entire. Carphochaete bigeloviiBigelow's Bristlehead or Bigelow Bush is named in honor of Dr. John Milton Bigelow, (1804-1878), American physician and botanist who was born in Vermont. Carphochaete bigelovii

Scientific Name: Carphochaete bigelovii
Common Name: Bigelow's Bristlehead
Also Called: Bigelow Bush
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: ( )
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: 4 feet or more.
Growth Form: Forb/herb, subshrub; bases woody, stems stiff, erect, reddish, pubescent.
Leaves: Green; dull, simple, opposite, fascicled on older growth; linear or narrow elliptical; margins entire.
Flower Color: White, purplish throats; discoid florets with only 3 to 4 per flowers per head; the corollas each have 5 pointed lobes, stamens exserted, numerous fine bristles surrounding the petal lobes; flowers terminal or in leaf axils, singular or paired, all with stiff bristles; phyllaries gland-dotted and sometimes puberulent; fruit is an achene.
Flowering Season: January to July; may bloom again in late winter.
Elevation: 2,500 to 7,000 feet.

Recorded Range: Bigelow's Bristlehead is relatively rare in the United States where it is found only in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas. It is also native to northwestern Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Sonora).

Habitat Preferences: Upland Sonoran desert habitats, chaparral and pinyon-juniper in rocky areas, rocky hillsides, rocky areas in grasslands, sandy soils, canyons.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Carphochaete bigelovii.

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.

Recorded Range: Limited distribution in the United States. Found only in AZ, NM and TX; Southwest NM and southwest TX. Found also in northern and central Mexico. In the U.S. it is most prevalent in Arizona where it occurs in the central, eastern and southern parts of the state.

Genus Information: In North America there is 1 species and 1 accepted taxa overall for Carphochaete. World wide, The Plant List includes 6 accepted species names and includes a further 1 name of infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States: Arizona, New Mexico and Texas each have 1 species of Carphochaete, California, Nevada and Utah have 0 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

Comments: Bigelow’s Bristlehead is a monotypic species in the United States, unique to the southwest and Mexico.


Etymology:
The genus Carphochaete is derived from the Greek root word "carpho", straw, twig, dry stock and "Karphos" to wither, wrinkle, dry and from the Greek root word "chaite" or long bristle. A reference to its stiff bristles atop gland-dotted phyllaries.

The species epithet bigelovii is named in honor of Dr. John Milton Bigelow, (1804-1878), American physician and botanist, born in VT. Best known for his work on grasses and flowering plants of Ohio and for his work identifying and classifying plants of the southwestern United States.
Date Profile Completed: 8/4/2012; Updated, 07/25/2015, updated format 10/10/2017 , updated 10/15/2017
References:
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 10/15/2017)
https://plants.usda.gov/java/ClassificationServlet?source=profile&symbol=CARPH2&display=31
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; http://www.theplantlist.org/ (accessed 10/15/2017).
http://www.theplantlist.org/1.1/browse/A/Compositae/Carphochaete/
David J. Keil, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 21 | Asteraceae | Carphochaete, 1. Carphochaete bigelovii A. Gray, Smithsonian Contr. Knowl. 3(5): 89. 1852. 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 10/15/2017).
http://swbiodiversity.org/seinet/