Desert Pincushion

Common Names:
Desert Pincushion, Esteve pincushion
Scientific name:
Chaenactis stevioides
Subspecies | Variants:
Chaenactis fremontii, Chaenactis carphoclinia
Chaenactis latifolia, Chaenactis gillespiei, Chaenactis stevioides var. thornberi
Elevation range:
< 7,500 ft.
Flowering Months:
February, March, April, May, June
Height | Length:
< 18 in.
Life Cycle | Lifeform:
Pollinator or food source for:
Attracts butterflies
State Occurrences:
Desert region:
Great Basin, Mojave, Sonoran

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Desert Pincushion in the desert

Chaenactis steviodes are annual herbs with hemispheric heads of white or pink flowers. Saddleback Butte State Park, CA | April 2014   

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Desert Pincushion in the desert

Chaenactis steviodes inflorescence has white, spreading, open flowers along the outside edge while the tubular florets in the center are greenish or cream-colored.  Mojave Desert | February 2013     

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Desert Pincushion in the desert

Chaenactis steviodes leaves are dark green to red, linear and withering. Pipes Canyon, CA | May 21, 2014   

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Desert Pincushion in the desert

In years of good rain, Chaenactis steviodes can carpet the landscape with its white flowers. Anza Borrego Desert State Park | March 2010