Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia, Pebble Pincushion
Scientific Name: Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia
Common Name: Pebble Pincushion
Also Called: Pincushion Flower, Straw-bed Pincushion
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Chaenactis carphoclinia var. attenuata)
Size: 4 to 12 or (16) inches (10-30 or (40) cm).
Growth Form: Forb/herb; erect branching stem, usually with 1 main stem; whitish pubescent.
Leaves: Green; basal and cauline leaves, the basal leaves wither, cauline leaves are divided into a few lobes; leaves are mostly linear, small, about 4 inches (10 cm) with a slender petiole.
Flower Color: White or pinkish-tinted; one to several floral heads borne on tips on the inflorescence, several per stem, heads are small, between .25 and .50 inch (.63 -1.27 cm); flowers discoid with enlarged outer corolla; the heads are bracketed by flat sharp-pointed phyllaries somewhat reddish; anthers exserted beyond the corolla are noticeable; fruit is an achene a few millimeters in length with a scaly pappus.
Flowering Season: January, February or March through May or June.
Elevation: 300 to 6,200 feet. (90-1,900 m)
Habitat Preferences: Shrublands in upper deserts; open plains, mesas, slopes, flats; rocky or gravelly areas.
Recorded Range: Chaenactis carphoclinia is found in southwest North America in the states of AZ, CA, NM, NV and UT. Pebble Pincushion is also found in Baja California and Sonora Mexico.
North America & US County Distribution Map for Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia.
U.S. Weed Information: No data available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available.
Wetland Indicator: No data available.
Genus Information: In North America there are 17 species and 17 accepted taxa overall for Chaenactis. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 19 accepted species names and a further 55 scientific names of infraspecific rank for Chaenactis.
The genus Chaenactis was published in 1836 by Augustin Pyramus de Candolle. Members of this genus are commonly referred to as pincushions or dustymaidens.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 6 species of genus, California has 13 species, Nevada has 8 species, New Mexico has 3 species, Texas has 0 species, Utah has 5 species. All data approximate and subject to revision.
There are 2 varieties in Chaenactis carphoclinia;
Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia, Pebble Pincushion (AZ, CA, NM, NV, UT and Baja California and Sonoran Mexico);
* Chaenactis carphoclinia var. peirsonii, Peirson’s Pincushion (CA).
Comments: Pebble Pincushion, in wet years, is one of the most abundant spring wildflowers in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts. This species is similar in appearance to Esteve’s Pincushion, for which it is often mistaken. In general Pebble Pincushion is a much smaller plant with multiple flower heads and the flowers are more cream colored and not as white as Esteve’s Pincushion.
This species is mostly a Mojave Desert species given its distribution along the western part of Arizona and heavily represented in southeast Nevada and California.
The species epithet carphoclinia is derived from the Greek root word "carpho", straw, twig, dry stock, and "Karphos" to wither, wrinkle, dry and from the Greek word "Kline" or bed.