Growth Form:Forb/herb; stems smooth, repeated forking, without hairs; plants spreading horizontally then becoming upright; rounded; spicy- or lemon-scented.
Leaves: Green; thread-like, curved; leaves with oil-glands; leaves mostly smooth (without hairs); leaves also gland-dotted.
leafy plant with small yellow flower heads in bundles at branch ends.
Flower Color: Bright yellow; small heads in clusters of 2 to 4 or more on leafy branch tips; bracts surrounding flowering heads linear and with visible oil-glands; fruit is a cypsela.
Flowering Season: June or July to October or November, or later; responds quickly to summer monsoon rainfall.
Elevation: Below 6,000 feet (1,829 m)
Habitat Preferences: Lower and upper dry desert areas, pinyon-juniper and chaparral communities, open sunny areas, rocky hillsides, mesas, sandy and gravelly areas and common along roadsides.
Recorded Range: A southwest species in the United States native to AZ, CA, NM, NV, TX and UT. The largest populations are found in AZ, CA and NV. This species is also native to Baja California and northwest Mexico. New Mexico has decent populations, Texas has a few and Nevada with the least in the extreme southwest corner.
Genus Information: In North America there are 19 species and 23 accepted taxa overall for Pectis. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 93 accepted species names and a further 55 scientific names of infraspecific rank for Pectis.
The genus Pectis was published by Carl Linnaeus, (1707-1778) in 1753.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 9 species of genus, California and Nevada each have 1 species, New Mexico has 6 species, Texas has 5 species and Utah has 2 species. Data approximate and subject to revision.
There are 2 varieties in Pectis papposa;
Pectis papposa var. grandis (AZ, NM, TX)
Pectis papposa var. papposa (AZ, CA, NM, NV, UT)
Comments: Manybristle Cinchweed, or simply Cinchweed is a common species found in three of the southwestern North American Deserts: the Sonoran, Mojave and Chihuahuan Deserts.
Following periods of good summer monsoon rainfall, Manybristle Cinchweed is a dominate species and may carpet large areas with its bright yellow flowers. In large enough populations and calm days the plants may fill the air with their pleasant spicy or lemony
Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
Pectis papposa small but brightly colored yellow and their 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
Pectis papposa small but brightly colored yellow flowers and their plants may be visited by butterflies, moths and other insects in search of food and nectar.
The genus “Pectis” (Pec'tis:) is from the Greek pecteo, “to comb,” the leaves of most species being pectinately ciliate, that is, fringed with hairs on the margin with narrowly close set divisions like the teeth of a comb.
The species epithet “papposa” (pappo'sa:) from the Latin for “with pappus.”
Pectis papposa is used for a multitude of purposes by southwestern United States indigenous peoples.
Havasupai Food, Porridge; Seeds parched, ground and used to make mush.
Havasupai Food, Sauce & Relish; Fresh plant dipped in salted water and eaten with mush or cornmeal as a condiment.
Havasupai Food, Soup; Seeds parched, ground and used to make soup.
Pima Drug, Laxative; Decoction of plant or dried plant taken as a laxative.
Pueblo Food, Spice; Used as seasoning.
Zuni Drug, Carminative; Infusion of whole plant taken as a carminative.
Zuni Drug, Eye Medicine; Infusion of blossoms used as eye drops for snow blindness.
Zuni Other, Ceremonial Items, Incense & Fragrance; Chewed blossoms used as perfume before a dance in ceremonies of the secret fraternities. The blossoms were chewed by both sexes, especially by women, ejected into the hands and rubbed on the neck, limbs and clothing as perfume.
See complete listing of ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.