Desert Daisies – Chaenactis Fremontii

The Desert Daisy is a flower common to the Mojave Desert, as it is to much of the Southwest.
Its scientific name is the Chaenactis fremontii, and uses common names such as Fremont’s pincushion and the Desert pincushion. These are a a species of annual wildflower in the daisy family, of the group Dicot and the family Asteracae. Both the latter common name, and the specific epithet are named for John C. Frémont, one of the founders of the state of California.
Chaenactis fremontii grows in sandy and gravelly soils in the deserts and low mountains.
Typically, Chaenactis fremontii grow in patches of long stems which are green when new and turn red with age. They may branch to extend into a multitude of tall, almost naked stems. These flowers have sparse, fleshy and long and pointed leaves. The erect stems have an inflorescence bearing with at least one flower head, though there are usually more. The heads feature densely packed disc florets, oftentimes with large ray florets around the edge of the discoid head. The flowers are white, yellow or very light pink.
In height, they reach 14 to 18 inches and spread out to cover an area of two feet. The flower rays are narrow and pale in color. They bloom in the early to mid spring, from March to May.
They crave full sun exposure and thrive at elevations from 0 – 4,000 Feet. Their typical habitat involves sandy and gravelly soils or hillsides, deserts, and low mountains.

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