Growth Form:Forb/herb from a taproot; plants lying flat on the ground; stems yellow or green.
Leaves: Green; small leaves; leaves in a basalrosette; populations benefit from heavy winter rainfall.
Flower Color: White or rose-tinged, often drying bluish with yellow centers; showy daisy-like flowers, flowers large compared with the plant, single (solitary) flower heads with both ray and diskflorets; bracts surrounding flower heads are narrow; fruit is a cypsela with a pappus.
Flowering Season: March or April to May or June
Elevation: 1,500 to 5,000 feet (457-1,524 m)
Habitat Preferences: Low dry sandy and gravelly flats, desert washes, Creosote Bush (Larrea) and pinyon-juniper woodlands.
Recorded Range: Daisy Desertstar is found in the far southwestern United States in AZ, CA, NV, UT. Daisy Desert is a predominately Mojave Desert species. Greatest populations in northwest Arizona, southeast California and southern Nevada, also found in extreme southwest Utah.
Genus Information: In North America there are 2 species and 2 accepted taxa overall for genus. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 2 accepted species names and a further 2 scientific names of infraspecific rank for Monoptilon.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona, California and Nevada each have 2 species of Monoptilon, Texas has 0 species and Utah has 1 species. Data approximate and subject to revision.
Comments: Although this species is commonly called “Daisy” Desertstar it is found primarily in the Mojave Desert; the closely related “Mojave” Desertstar, (Monoptilon bellioides), is found in both the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts. Differences between the 2 species is technical and relates to the attachment and characteristics of the pappus. Other more recognizable differences such as stem color (reddish-purple in Mojave Desertstar vs yellow-green in Daisy Desertstar) and size (up to 10 inches in Mojave Desertstar vs up to 3 inches in Daisy Desertstar) are too variable for practical applications.
Daisy Desertstar, Monoptilon bellidiforme showy white, daisy-like flowers, seeds and plants may be visited by hummingbirds and/or small mammals including rodents and granivorous birds in search of nectar or food.
Beneficial Value to Butterflies, Bees and Insects
Daisy Desertstar, Monoptilon bellidiforme showy white, daisy-like brightly colored flowers and plants may be visited by butterflies, moths and other insects in search of food and nectar.
The genus “Monoptilon” (Monop'tilon:) is from the Greek monos, “one,” and ptilon, “feather,” referring to the pappus of the original species which is a single bristle-like structure.