Bulbous spring parsley
Northwest Arizona and north New Mexico, north to Wyoming
Less than one foot
Hillsides, desert plains, up to 6,500 feet elevation
Twice pinnately compound, with small, rounded, grey-green leaflets
The unusual blooms of cymopterus bulbosus consist of thin, whitish, paper-like bracts which contain numerous, small pink/purple florets, opening to display long white stamens. Flowers are arranged in clusters (umbels) of around a dozen heads, at the end of a short, thick stalk. The involucre (the base of the bracts, underneath the flower head) is star-shaped. The plant is low growing, its twice compound leaves staying close to the ground, and the flower stalks also tend to grow sideways rather than vertically upwards. The bracts are white, thin and papery, with a single green to purple vein up the middle.