Brewer's navarretia, yellow pincushion
The Pacific states, across to western Wyoming and Colorado
Streambanks, wet meadows; generally open, moist places, from 3,500 to 11,000 feet
Pinnately divided into narrow, needle-like lobes, themselves sometimes forked
Navarretia breweri is a small but attractive species, one of the few members of this genus with yellow flowers; most are white or pink. Plants are usually 2 to 3 inches tall, and about as wide; a slender stem, branching once or twice near the base, topped by the compact, bracted inflorescence. Flowers are around a third of an inch long, with a slender corolla tube opening to five spreading lobes. The style and stamens are exserted. The calyx is a little shorter, divided into five needle-like lobes, hairy around the base.
Stems are usually reddish-brown, and, like the leaves and bracts, have a short covering of glandular hairs. Leaves are opposite near the base, otherwise alternate; they are divided into narrow, linear lobes, which may be forked at or below the middle, Lobes are topped by reddish spines. The bracts surrounding the flowers are similar in size and appearance to the leaves.