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Machaeranthera pinnatifida (Lacy tansyaster)
Nugent, Louis R

Machaeranthera pinnatifida

Machaeranthera pinnatifida (Hook.) Shinners

Lacy Tansyaster, Yellow Spiny Daisy

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Xanthisma spinulosum


USDA Native Status: L48 (N), CAN (N)

A slender plant with small, weakly bristly leaves and 1 yellow flower head at tip of each of many upper branches.

The classification of this species, once known as Haplopappus spinulosus, has perplexed botanists; Haplopappus in the strictest sense is a southern South American genus. North American plants related to Yellow Spiny Daisy may be better placed in Machaeranthera. The very similar but annual species M. gracilis, also called Yellow Spiny Daisy, has the lowest chromosome number known in plants, with only four chromosomes in each cell; most plants have 14-30.


From the Image Gallery

17 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Subshrub
Size Notes: Up to about 3 feet 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: Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov


USA: AR , AZ , CA , CO , IA , ID , KS , MN , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , OK , SD , TX , UT , WY
Canada: AB , MB , SK
Native Distribution: Alberta south through Rocky Mountain region and much of the Plains states to New Mexico, Arizona, southern California, and northern Mexico.
Native Habitat: Open places in arid grasslands and deserts and among piņon and juniper.

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:

Sibley Nature Center - Midland, TX

Web Reference

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

Additional resources

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


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

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