Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Uropappus lindleyi, Lindley’s Silverpuffs

Lindley’s Silverpuffs has light yellow flowers with yellow centers; note in photo the “petals” barely extend beyond bracts.  Uropappus lindleyi Lindley’s Silverpuffs notice that the bracts surrounding flower heads, shown here in the photo are narrowly lance-shaped or lanceolate. Uropappus lindleyi Lindley’s Silverpuffs has a unique fruit head that has a pappus of 5-pointed 
silver scales. Uropappus lindleyi
Lindley’s Silverpuffs has lower basal leaves that are long and narrow as shown here. The plants have a milky sap when crushed. Uropappus lindleyi Lindley’s Silverpuffs bloom from March to May or June and prefers elevations up to 5,000 feet (127 m), Uropappus lindleyi

Scientific Name: Uropappus lindleyi
Common Name: Lindley’s Silverpuffs

Also called: Lindley’s Silverpuffs, Lindley's False Silverpuffs, Silver Puffs, Silverpuffs, Starpoint Microseris

Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family

Synonyms: (Microseris lindleyi, Microseris linearifolia, Microseris macrochaeta, Uropappus lindleyi var. lindleyi, Uropappus linearifolius)

Status: Native

Duration: Annual

Size: 1 to 2 feet (30-61 cm)

Growth Form: Forb/herb; plants with basal rosettes; plants with milky sap.

Leaves: Green; lower basal leaves are long and narrow, few leaves with ½ inch (1.3 cm) horizontal segments.

Flower Color: Light yellow; single (solitary) flower heads; flowering stalk without leaves; florets, ligulate flowers only; bracts surrounding flower heads narrowly lance-shaped (lanceolate); note in photo above, flowers “petals” barely extend beyond bracts; fruit is a cypsela with a pappus of 5 pointed silver scales as shown in the photo above.

Flowering Season: March to May or June

Elevation: Up to 5,000 feet (127 m)

Habitat Preferences: Various; mesas, plains, grasslands, chaparral, deserts and sandy desert flats; prefers well drained soils, rocky sites, disturbed areas and roadsides.

Recorded Range: Southwestern and western United States and British Columbia. Also native to northern Baja California and northern Mexico.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Uropappus lindleyi. as Microseris lindleyi.

North America species range map for Uropappus lindleyi:

North America species range map for Uropappus lindleyi: 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, according to the USDA, there are no species for Uropappus; classified as Microseris of which they list 14 species and 14 accepted taxa overall for Microseris. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 3 accepted species names and a further 12 scientific names of infraspecific rank for Uropappus.

The genus Uropappus was published by Thomas Nuttall, (1786-1859) in 1841.

the genus Uropappus was recently reclassified from Microseris, which is still in use by some authorities.

In the Southwestern United States there is 1 species of Uropappus. Data approximate and subject to revision.

Comments: Lindley’s Silverpuffs has a distinctive seed head with a 5 pointed silver wing pappus. The seed heads are well adapted for wind-blown seed dispersal. Uropappus (=Microseris) linearifolia was treated as a separate species but recently combined with Uropappus lindleyi.

Both the genus Uropappus and Microseris are collectively known as “Silverpuffs” because of their similar fluffy silvery seed heads. The genus Microseris is still in use by some authorities.

Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
Lindley's Silverpuffs, Uropappus lindleyi, showy yellow 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
Lindley's Silverpuffs, Uropappus lindleyi, showy yellow flowers and plants may be visited by butterflies, moths and other insects in search of food and nectar.

The genus “Uropappus” (Uropap'pus:) with the pappus having a long tail-like dip.

The genus Uropappus was published by Thomas Nuttall, (1786-1859) in 1841.

The species epithet lindleyi (lind'leyi:) was named after John Lindley (1799-1865).


Date Profile Completed: 06/01/2012; updated 09/06/2020
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search; as Microseris lindleyi, accessed 09/06/2020.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet;; accessed 09/06/2020.
Kenton L. Chambers,, Flora of North America; Asteraceae, Uropappus, 1. Uropappus lindleyi (de Candolle) Nuttall, Trans. Amer. Philos. Soc., n. s. 7: 425. 1841.; Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford.
Kenton L. Chambers 2012, Uropappus lindleyi, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=76212, accessed on September 05, 2020.
FNA 2006, Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969; Editors: S.Buckley 2010, F.S.Coburn 2015; from SEINet Field Guide, on-line; accessed 09/05/2020.
Michael J. Plagens; Arizonensis; Field Guide; Sonoran Desert Flora; Asteraceae, Silver Puffs, Uropappus lindleyi, (Microseris linearifolia/M. lindleyi); accessed 09/06/2020.
T. Beth Kinsey, Southeastern Arizona Wildflowers and Plants; Microseris lindleyi – Lindley's Silverpuffs - accessed 09/06/2020.
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 09/06/2020.