Perennials, 6-25(-42+) cm. Caudices ± branched, branches notably thickened distally. Stems 1-8(-12), erect, leafy, ± branched distally. Leaves basal and cauline, entire, usually densely strigoso-canescent, ± gland-dotted; basal leaves tightly clustered, blades spatulate to oblanceolate; proximal cauline blades oblanceolate; mid blades oblanceolate to linear-oblanceolate, 2.5-5 mm wide; distal blades linear-lanceolate to linear. Heads 1-10(-30) per plant (1-7 per stem), borne singly or in paniculiform to corymbiform arrays. Peduncles 2-13.5 cm, usually densely hairy. Involucres (5-)7-10 × 8-15 mm. Outer phyllaries 8-11, 4-6.5 mm, margins 0-0.3 mm wide, usually scarious, abaxial faces densely hairy. Ray florets 8-14; corollas 11.8-17 mm. Disc florets 25-75(-100+); corollas yellow proximally, yellow or rarely purplish distally, 2.8-3.8 mm. Cypselae 2.4-3.1 mm; pappi of 5-6 obovate, aristate scales 2.1-3.5 mm. 2n = 30, 60. Flowering (Apr-)May-Aug(-Sep). Roadsides, hillsides, open treeless areas, edges of woods; (1500-)2000-2400(-3000) m; Ariz., N.Mex.
FNA 2006, Heil et al. 2013
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Perennial herbs, 6–25 cm tall, occasionally taller, from a branching woody caudex; stems 1 to several per plant, erect, leafy. Leaves: Basal leaves tightly clustered; stem leaves alternate; blades spatulate to oblanceolate, about 5 cm long, silvery- canescent, gland-dotted, with entire margins; stem leaves smaller than basal leaves. Flowers: Flower heads showy, yellow, and radiate, usually solitary at stem tips but sometimes in panicles of up to 7 per stem; involucres 5–10 mm high, hemispheric to campanulate, the bracts (phyllaries) in 3 series of approximately equal length, ovate to lanceolate, red-tinged, densely hairy, with scarious margins; ray florets 8–14 per flower head, the laminae (ray petals) 5-20 mm long, yellow; disc florets 25–75 or more per flower head, yellow, occasionally purple-tipped. Fruits: Achenes 3 mm long; topped with a pappus of 5–6 obovate, aristate scales, 2-4 mm long. Ecology: Found on roadsides, hillsides, open treeless areas, and edges of woods, from 5,000- 9,500 (1524-2896m); flowers May-August. Distribution: AZ and NM Notes: This showy perennial herb of forest and woodland openings is distinct due to its dense basal tufts of silvery leaves and long straight stems topped with showy yellow sunflower-like flower heads. It is similar to its common congener, T. acaulis; however, that species has only basal leaves, never any leaves on the flower stalk. T. argentea, on the other hand, always has at least one or two stem leaves. T. ivesiana is also similar, but that species is not densely covered with silvery hairs as T. argentea is. Ethnobotany: Used medicinally for heartburn and in lotion for eczema. Etymology: Tetraneuris from the Greek tetra, four, and neuris, nerved, referring to the veins on the ray petals; argentea means silvery, referring to the pubescence on the leaves. Synonyms: Hymenoxys argentea Editor: AHazelton 2017