Malacothrix coulteri Harv. & A. Gray
Snake's Head, Snakehead
Asteraceae (Aster Family)
Synonym(s): Malacothrix coulteri var. cognata, Zollikoferia elquiensis
USDA Symbol: MACO3
Pale, smooth, branched stems with most leaves near base and pale yellow flower heads at tips; sap milky.
The flower head of this species has broad round bracts with parchment-like edges and a purplish or greenish central band that resembles a serpents scales, and the bud resembles a fanciful snake head, hence the common name. Among similar species, Yellow Tackstem (Calycoseris parryi) has small, tack-shaped glands on the bracts and upper stem, and Scalebud (Anisocoma acaulis) has seed-like fruits with feathery bristles at the tip, the outer bristles half the length of the inner bristles.
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Bloom InformationBloom Time: Mar , Apr , May
DistributionUSA: AZ , CA , NV , UT
Native Distribution: Central California south to Baja California and east to southwestern Utah and southern Arizona.
Native Habitat: Open flats and hills in grasslands or deserts.
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Malacothrix coulteri in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Malacothrix coulteri in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Malacothrix coulteri
MetadataRecord Modified: 2007-01-01
Research By: TWC Staff