Greenstem paper flower
North Arizona, southeast Utah and northwest New Mexico
Between 4 and 16 inches; occasionally more
Pine woodland, sagebrush, grasslands; 3,000 to 7,000 feet
Thick, narrowly lanceolate to linear, up to 2 inches long
April to September
Psilostrophe sparsiflora is an atypical member of the asteraceae family as the flowerheads have bilateral rather than radial symmetry. They are formed of 2 or 3 broad, yellow ray florets, partly divided at the tip into 3 lobes, and with a two-pronged pistil at their base, either side of a small number (7 to 10) of yellow to orange disc florets. When fully open the rays tend to droop downwards, and when aged they become thin, brown and papery, hence the common name for the genus of paperflower.
The stems and leaves have a sparse covering of rough, strigose hairs. Stems are green in color, branch readily, and have leaves all the way along. Basal leaves are narrowly oblanceolate; those on the upper stem are linear, and often curved up along the edges. Leaves at the base are usually withered at blooming.