Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia  
Family: Asteraceae
pebble pincushion
[Chaenactis carphoclinia var. attenuata (Gray) M.E. Jones]
Chaenactis carphoclinia var. carphoclinia image
Plants (5-)10-30(-40) cm. Leaves basal (± withering) and cauline, longest 1-6(-7) cm; petioles scarcely dilated proximally, ± herbaceous. 2n = 16. Flowering Jan-Jun. Open, rocky or gravelly (sometimes sandy) desert slopes and flats, shrublands; -90-1900 m; Ariz., Calif., Nev., N.Mex., Utah; Mexico (Baja California, Sonora). Variety carphoclinia is one of the most abundant spring wildflowers in the Sonoran Desert; it extends to the southern Great Basin and northwestern Chihuahuan Desert. It is reported to be eaten by desert tortoises (Gopherus agassizii Cooper). Some stunted forms have been named var. attenuata; such forms recur in the most arid (or otherwise severe) habitats throughout the range of the species.