Thursday, May 27, 2010

Parachute Plant or Gravel Ghost

Parachute plant,
also known as tobacco weed and gravel ghost (Atrichoseris platyphylla) is a genus containing a single species.
It is a member of the daisy family. The scientific name means the flat-leave (platyphylla) chicory plant without hairs (Atrichoseris),
referring to the absence of hairs on the fruit. It has a white or pink-tinged flower with layered rays that are rectangular and toothed.
It has a thin branching stem
and rounded leaves in a basal rosette with gray-green and purple patches at ground level.
It is found in the deserts of southeastern California, southeastern Nevada, extreme southwestern Utah and portions of western Arizona.
It was not until my third visit to the bajada south of the Eagle Mountains this year, on May 1st, that I saw some. I initially saw them in an area I had not walked earlier in the spring, but then saw some in a dry ravine I had walked both times previous, so I am assuming they had just recently come up.

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