Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Lasthenia californica, California Goldfields

Lasthenia californica, California Goldfields, Southwest Desert Flora Lasthenia californica, California Goldfields, Southwest Desert Flora Lasthenia californica, California Goldfields, Southwest Desert Flora

Scientific Name: Lasthenia californica
Common Name: California Goldfields
Also Called: Goldfields
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Baeria chrysostoma, Baeria chrysostoma ssp. gracilis, Baeria chrysostoma ssp. hirsutula, Baeria chrysostoma var. gracilis, Baeria hirsutula, Lasthenia chrysostoma)
Status: Native
Duration: Annual or perennial.
Size: 15 inches more or less.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; stems reddish, simple or branched; erect or decumbent (lying along the ground), sprawling, simple or branched; caespitose or forming mats.
Leaves: Leaves green; opposite, linear, oblanceolate or oblong; leaf margins entire or toothed; surfaces smooth or slightly hairy.
Flower Color: Bright yellow, heads solitary or multiple on tips of branches; heads radiate, ray and disc florets, ray florets 6 to 13 (16), linear to oblong; disc florets yellow; many; phyllaries or bracts around "flower" head visibly hairy, seed achene-like.
Flowering Season:March to May.
Elevation:1,500 to 4,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Found in many habitats; mesas and plains, often found in dry areas with poor soil.

Recorded Range: California, Mexico. In Arizona, it occurs in the central and southern portions.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Lasthenia californica.

U.S. Weed Information: No data available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available.
Wetland Indicator: No data available.

Threatened/Endangered Information: According to the California Plant Society, subspecies Lasthenia californica macrantha is “Threatened by competition from non-native plants and recreational activities. Potentially threatened by trail construction and foot traffic.”

Genus Information: 17 species in Lasthenia in the United State and Canada in AZ, CA, OR, WA and British Columbia. 1 species in Arizona. 3 subspecies in Lasthenia californica;
Lasthenia californica ssp. bakeri, Baker's Goldfields,
Lasthenia californica ssp. californica, California Goldfields (AZ)
Lasthenia californica ssp. macrantha, Perennial Goldfields.

Comments: Arizona is home to Lasthenia californica ssp. californica, California Goldfields. It is common where found and with ample rainfall can carpet an area with bright yellow flowers. The photographs above were taken March 27, 2013 where large areas of plants were blooming in several locations near Kitty Joe Canyon, Tonto National Forest, Maricopa County, AZ.

Superficially resembles Manybristle Cinchweed, Pectis papposa and Five-bract Cinchweed, Pectis filipes.

Ethno-botanical uses for Lasthenia californica include grinding the parched seed into flour to make mush. See species account from Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: Date Completed: 10/8/2014; Updated, 07/26/2015, updated format 10/10/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, as Baeria chrysostoma ssp. gracilis.
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (10/8/2014)
Raymund Chan, Robert Ornduff †, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 21 | Asteraceae | Lasthenia, Page 337, 338, 339, Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. (accessed 10/8/2014)
Wikipedia contributors, 'Lasthenia californica', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 3 August 2013, 02:32 UTC, [accessed 8 October 2014]
Encyclopedia of Life (EOL); Lasthenia californica, Overview California Goldfields, (accessed 10/8/2014)
CNPS, Rare Plant Program. 2014. Inventory of Rare and Endangered Plants (online edition, v8-02). California Native Plant Society, Sacramento, CA. Website [accessed 08 October 2014].
Occurrences of Lasthenia californica New England States
Sorrie, B.A. 1992. County checklist of Massachusetts plants. Unpublished.
Magee, D. Flora of New England. Unpublished and undated.
Cullina, M.D., B. Connolly, B. Sorrie, and P. Somers. 2011. The vascular plants of Massachusetts: A county checklist, first revision. Massachusetts Natural Heritage & Endangered Species Program, Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Westborough.
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names and recorded geographic locations,