Chaenactis stevioides, Esteve’s Pincushion
Scientific Name: Chaenactis stevioides
Common Name: Esteve’s Pincushion
Also Called: Pincushion Flower, Steve's Dusty Maiden, Steve's Dustymaiden and Steve's Pincushion
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Chaenactis gillespiei, Chaenactis latifolia, Chaenactis mexicana, Chaenactis stevioides var. brachypappa and Chaenactis stevioides var. thornberi)
Size: Up to 18 inches.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; erect, one or multiple stems, open airy branches, multiple blue-green or purplish stems; thin cobweb-like hairs, older plants glabrous.
Leaves: Green or gray-green; thin or slender, 1.5 to 2 inches or more; basal leaves larger, upper leaves reduced, bract-like; pinnately lobed with 4 or more pairs.
Flower Color: White or pinkish-white flower heads; some in light shades of yellow, disk flowers only, outer corolla tubes noticeably larger with ray-like florets; several heads on 4 inch stalks or peduncles; flower heads subtended with rigid hairy bracts or phyllaries; fruit is an achene.
Flowering Season: February to May.
Elevation: 1,000 to 6,500 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Lower and upper deserts, arid habitats, openings in chaparral, pinyon-juniper, mesas, plains, sandy or gravelly washes.
Recorded Range: Found in the west central and southwestern United States, Baja California and northwest Mexico. This species occurs throughout most of Arizona.
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.
Comments: Esteve’s Pincushion is a common spring bloomer heavily populated in the Sonoran and Mojave Deserts and northward into the Great Basin Desert. It is well represented throughout Arizona.
In Southwest Desert Flora see also Pebble Pincushion, Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia.
Native Americans made an infusion of the plant to slow down heartbeats of children with fevers. See species account from Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.