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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Lasthenia californica (California goldfields)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Lasthenia californica

Lasthenia californica DC. ex Lindl.

California Goldfields

Asteraceae (Aster Family)


USDA Symbol: LACA7

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A low, slightly pubescent, slender, unbranched annual, 2-6 in. tall, with threadlike leaves and small, yellow, radiate flowers. A small, slender annual with reddish stems, very narrow opposite leaves, and a small golden-yellow flower head at the end of each branch. In better soils, the plant is stouter and reaches 16 in. in height.

On open areas with poor soils, where grass is sparse, this plant will form carpets of gold if moisture is ample. It is also sometimes placed in the genus Baeria. Spring Gold (Crocidium multicaule) looks very much like Goldfields, but has most leaves in a basal rosette. Those on the stem are alternate, and have tufts of hair in the axils.


From the Image Gallery

11 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 16 inches tall.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov , Dec


USA: AZ , CA , MA , NM , OR
Native Distribution: OR to AZ
Native Habitat: Open mesas & grasslands

Growing Conditions

Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Description: Dry clays or sands.
Conditions Comments: This annual carpets stretches of open desert following wet winters.

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

National Wetland Indicator Status

This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1 (Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here for map of regions.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Lasthenia californica in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Lasthenia californica in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Lasthenia californica


Record Modified: 2022-12-29
Research By: TWC Staff

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