Checker Fiddleneck

Common Names:
Checker Fiddleneck, Devil's Lettuce, Rancher's Fireweed
Scientific name:
Amsinckia tessellata
Subspecies | Variants:
Amsinckia tessellata var. gloriosa, Amsinckia tessellata var. tessellata
Elevation range:
<5,000 ft.
Flowering Months:
March, April, May
Height | Length:
8-24 in.
Life Cycle | Lifeform:
Annual
Notes:
May cause contact dermatitis
State Occurrences:
Desert region:
Great Basin, Mojave, Sonoran

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Checker Fiddleneck in the desert

Flower color can vary among Amsinckia tessellata specimens, this one being orange-red. Joshua Tree National Park | March 2015   

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Checker Fiddleneck  in the desert

Amsinckia tessellata is an attractive but very bristly annual in the Boraginaceae (Waterleaf) family. Yellow bell shaped flowers are born at the top of a scorpiod stem. This plant is widespread and very common, and dead plants tend to stay in place. Pipes Canyon | March 2016    

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Checker Fiddleneck in the desert

Amsinckia tessellata grows across much of the West. Kramer Junction, CA | February 2014    

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Checker Fiddleneck in the desert

Amsinckia tessellata curled flower head is very visible here. Lucerne Valley, CA | March 2014    

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Checker Fiddleneck in the desert

Amsinckia tessellata at Owl Canyon near Barstow, CA | March 2013    

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Checker Fiddleneck in the desert

Amsinckia tessellata grows in many habitat types, here on a sandy flat. Pipes Canyon | April 2006    

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Checker Fiddleneck in the desert

Amsinckia tessellata with curled flower heads. Pipes Canyon | April 2009    

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Checker Fiddleneck in the desert

Amsinckia tessellata leaves are long and linear and stand upright against the stem. Pipes Canyon | March 2008    

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Checker Fiddleneck in the desert

Stand of Amsinckia tessellata hairs backlit by the sun. Pipes Canyon, CA | March 2009    

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Checker Fiddleneck  in the desert

Good view of the bristly hairs on the calyx. Some of the flowers on this Amsinckia tessellata are going to seed.  Pipes Canyon, CA | March 2015