The Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, and adjacent areas
Usually up to 12 inches; sometimes twice this
Flats and slopes in deserts and semi-deserts; gravelly and rocky locations, up to 6,000 feet
Up to 4 inches long; divided into a few (2 to 7) pairs of linear lobes
Chaenactis carphoclinia, an annual species, inhabits desert regions of California, Arizona, Nevada and Utah. Leaves grow at the base and at alternate intervals along the short stems; they are divided into short, linear, cylindrical lobes, quite thick and succulent-like. The lowest leaves often wither by flowering. Plants produce one stem, which branches a few times towards the tip, each branch topped by one flowerhead. Stems and leaves have a covering of short, fine, powdery hairs.
Flowerheads contain between 3 and 20 white (less often pale pink), five-lobed disc florets above a cylindrical or hemispheric involucre, which is lined both by pointed, hairy, glandular phyllaries, reddish in color, and similar-looking paleae.
There are two varieties: the widespread var carphoclinia has both basal and cauline leaves, the longest less than 3 inches, while var peirsonii has only basal leaves, the longest 4 inches, and is found in far southeast California.