Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Trichoptilium incisum, Yellowdome

Yellowdome is a small flowering plant, mostly yellow the mature toward reddish pink. The floral heads consist of disk florets only. Trichoptilium incisum Yellowdome or Yellow Dome plants bloom from January to May and again in the fall following sufficient rainfall. Plants are low growing and slightly fragrant. Trichoptilium incisum Yellowdome bracts surrounding heads are lanceolate, outer surfaces woolly as shown in the photo. Trichoptilium incisum Yellowdome; Plants have both basal and cauline leaves often clustered in lower ½ of plant; mostly sessile; shape sharply dentate or shallowly lobed; leaf surfaces resin-dotted. Trichoptilium incisum Yellowdome or Yellow Dome plants grow up to 10 inches or so and at least ½ of the height consists of the flowering stalk. Trichoptilium incisum

Scientific Name: Trichoptilium incisum
Common Name: Yellowdome

Also Called: Yellow dome, Yellowhead

Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family

Synonyms: ()

Status: Native

Duration: Annual or short-lived perennial.

Size: Up to 10 inches (25.4 cm) or so.

Growth Form: Forb/herb; herbaceous plants, winter annuals; many stems from basal rosette; plants upright (erect) or spreading out horizontally (ascending) plants mostly covered in dense, soft short hairs (tomentose).

Leaves: Green; blade shape variable, lanceolate; leaf tips pointed; leaf edges (margins) toothed or lobed; leaves dotted with resin glands.

Flower Color: Yellow changing to reddish-pink with maturity; large and showy; flower heads singles (solitary); heads with disk florets only; bracts surrounding heads are lanceolate, outer surfaces woolly as shown in photo above; fruit is a cypsela with a pappus of straight stiff hairs (bristles).

Flowering Season: January to February to May or year-round with sufficient rainfall.

Elevation: Generally up to 2,500 feet (762 m) or more, 5,000 feet (1,524 m) in California.

Habitat Preferences: Sandy or gravelly soils, dry slopes, mesas and plains; often in Creosote-bush or desert communities.

Recorded Range: Yellowdome is found in the southwestern United States centered around the states of AZ, CA, NV. In Arizona it is found mostly in the western ½, central and southwestern parts of the state; in California it is found in the southeastern parts of the state and in Nevada it is found in the southeastern parts of the state. It is also native throughout Baja California and northwestern Mexico (Sonora).

North America & US County Distribution Map for Trichoptilium incisum.

North America species range map for Yellowdome, Trichoptilium incisum:

Yellowdome, Trichoptilium incisum: Click image for full size map.
Click image for full size map

U.S. Weed Information: Unknown
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: Unknown
Wetland Indicator: Unknown
Threatened/Endangered Information: Unknown

Genus Information: In North America there are 1 species and 1 accepted taxa overall for Trichoptilium. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 1 accepted species names and a further 0 scientific names of infraspecific rank for Trichoptilium.

The genus Trichoptilium was published in 1859 by Asa Gray, (1810-1888).

In the Southwestern United States this is 1 species of Trichoptilium, which is a monotypic species. Data approximate, subject to revision.

Comments: Trichoptilium incisum is a slightly fragrant low growing plant that, because of its whitish and wholly appearance it superficially resembles Desert Marigold, Baileya multiradiata.

In Southwestern Desert Flora also see Desert Marigold, Baileya multiradiata and Woolly Desert Marigold, Baileya pleniradiata.

Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
Trichoptilium incisum has large and showy attractive flowers, the flowers and their seeds may be visited by hummingbirds and/or small mammals including rodents and granivorous birds in search of nectar or food.

Beneficial Value to Butterflies, Honey Bees and Insects
Trichoptilium incisum has large and showy attractive flowers, the flowers and their plants may be visited by butterflies, moths, flies, honeybees, Native Bees and other insects in search of food and nectar.

The genus “Trichoptilium” (Trichoptil'ium:) is from the Greek trichos, "hair," and ptilon, "feather," in allusion to the dissected pappus-paleae, i.e. the chafflike scales on the receptacle.

The genus Trichoptilium was published in 1859 by Asa Gray, (1810-1888).

The species epithet incisum (inci'sum:) means incised, deeply or irregularly cut.


Date Profile Completed: 04/05/2017, updated 12/07/2020
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search; accessed 12/07/2020.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet;; accessed 12/07/2020.
John L. Strother, FNA; FNA Vol. 21 Page 415, 418, 456; | Asteracea; Trichoptilium; 1. Trichoptilium incisum (A. Gray) A. Gray in W. H. Emory, Rep. U.S. Mex. Bound. 2(1): 97. 1859.; Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford.
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet; accessed 12/07/2020. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
FNA 2006, Jepson 2012, Kearney and Peebles 1969; Editors: L.Crumbacher2012; from SEINet Field Guide, on-line; accessed 12/07/2020.
David J. Keil 2012, Trichoptilium incisum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on December 07, 2020.
The Jepson Desert Manual; 2002; Baldwin, Bruce G., et. al.; The Jepson Desert Manual: Vascular Plants of Southeastern California; page 188, 193 Univ. of California Press, Berkeley and Los Angeles, California
Wikipedia contributors, 'Trichoptilium', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 14 January 2020, 22:20 UTC, [accessed 7 December 2020]
Seiler, John, Peterson, John, North American species range map courtesy of Virginia Tech, Dept. of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation
SEINet synonyms, scientific names, geographic locations, general information.
Etymology:Michael L. Charters California Plant Names: Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations; A Dictionary of Botanical and Biographical Etymology - (accessed 12/07/2020)
IPNI (2020). International Plant Names Index. Published on the Internet, The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, Harvard University Herbaria & Libraries and Australian National Botanic Gardens. [Retrieved 07 December 2020].