Stems yellow-green. Phyllary margins herbaceous. Disc floret corollas loosely strigose proximally. Pappi scarious cups 0.1-0.4 mm plus 1 apically plumose bristle usually equaling disc corollas, rarely the bristle reduced or almost absent. 2n = 16. Flowering Mar-May. Sandy or gravelly flats, pinyon pine or pine-juniper woodlands; 700-1500 m; Ariz., Calif., Nev., Utah.
FNA 2006, Keil 2014 (Jepson Online)
Duration: Annual Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Annual herbs, 1-5 cm tall, from a taproot; stems prostrate to decumbent, often radiating from the base of the plant; herbage hispido-hirsute, minutely glandular. Leaves: Forming a basal rosette and alternate along the stems; short-petiolate; blades 4-10 mm long, oblanceolate with rounded or obtuse tips, 1-nerved, with entire margins. Flowers: Flower heads radiate, borne singly and usually subtended and surrounded by distal leaves; involucre (ring of bracts wrapped around the flower head) campanulate, 4-6 mm high, the bracts (phyllaries) 10-14 in 1 or occasionally 2 series, linear-lanceolate, appressed, herbaceous and hirsute; ray florets 12-21, the corolla laminae (ray petals) white or tinged with rose or purple, 3-5 mm long; disc florets 28-40, the corollas yellow, loosely strigose near the base, 3-5 mm high. Fruits: Achenes 2 mm long, obovoid, compressed, and sparsely strigose, topped with a persistent pappus of a scarious cup less than 0.5 mm long, plus 1 apically plumose bristle; rarely the bristle is reduced or almost absent. Ecology: Found on sandy or gravelly flats and in pinyon pine-juniper woodlands, from 1,500-5,000 ft (457-1524 m); flowers March-May. Distribution: AZ, CA, NV, UT Notes: Monoptilon spp. are easy to recognize by their compact, often decumbent growth form; relatively large daisy flowers with white rays and yellow centers; and somewhat thick leaves covered with stiff, white hairs. Differentiate from M. bellioides by the pappus attached to the top of the seed; M. bellioides has a pappus of several bristles of unequal lengths, plus sometimes a few scales; M. bellidiforme has pappus consisting of a scarious cup plus single plumose bristle. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Monoptilon comes from the Greek monos for one and ptilon for feather, referring to the single plumose bristle attached to the seed of this species; bellidiforme means like a daisy (genus Bellis). Synonyms: None Editor: AHazelton 2015