Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia, Pebble Pincushion

Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia, Pebble Pincushion, Southwest Desert Flora Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia, Pebble Pincushion, Southwest Desert Flora Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia, Pebble Pincushion, Southwest Desert Flora    Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia, Pebble Pincushion, Southwest Desert Flora

Scientific Name: Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia
Common Name: Pebble Pincushion
Also Called: Pincushion Flower
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Chaenactis carphoclinia var. attenuata)
Status: Native
Duration: Annual
Size: Variable 1 to 2 feet.
Growth Form: Herb; erect branching stem, usually with 1 main stem; whitish pubescent.
Leaves: Green; divided into a few lobes, mostly linear, small, about 4 inches.
Flower Color: White or pinkish; one to several flower heads borne on tips on the inflorescence, several per stem, heads are small, between ¼ and ½ inch; flowers discoid with enlarged outer corolla; the heads are bracketed by flat pointed phyllaries somewhat reddish; anthers extending beyond the corolla are noticeable; fruit is an achene a few millimeters in length.
Flowering Season: February to May.
Elevation: Up to 3,000 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Upper desert in open plains and mesas in rocks or gravel.
Recorded Range: Chaenactis carphoclinia is found in southwest North America in the states of AZ, CA, NM, NV and UT. In Arizona it is found primarily in the western half and southwestern parts of the state.

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.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No data available.

Genus Information: 17 species in Chaenactis mostly in the western United States and western Canada. 6 species occur in Arizona. There are 2 varieties in the southwest United States and northwest Mexico:
Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia, Pebble Pincushion is found in the localities referenced above and
Chaenactis carphoclinia var. peirsonii, Peirson’s Pincushion is limited in distribution to California.

Comments: Pebble Pincushion is similar in appearance to Esteve’s Pincushion, Chaenactis stevioides, for which it is often mistaken, but in general 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 likely a Mojave Desert species given its distribution along the western part of Arizona and heavily represented in southeast Nevada and California.

Date Profile Completed: 8/9/2014; Updated, 07/25/2015
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database – Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), USDA, NRCS on line database; 8/9/2014
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, as: Chaenactis carphoclinia
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 8/9/2014)
James D. Morefield, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 21 | Asteraceae | Chaenactis, FNA Vol. 21 Page 5, 398, 400, 402, Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. (accessed 8/9/2014)
Wikipedia contributors. "Chaenactis carphoclinia." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 20 Jul. 2013. Web. 9 Aug. 2014. -
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names and recorded geographic locations,