Scientific Name: Malacothrix fendleri
Common Names: Fendler's Desertdandelion, Fendler's Desert Dandelion, Fendler's Dandelion
Growth Habit: Herb/Forb
Arizona Native Status: Native
Habitat: Desert, Upland. This wildflower grows in sunny, open, sandy and rocky areas in deserts and grasslands.
Flower Color: Bright yellow
Flowering Season: Spring
Height: Up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall or rarely more
Description: The dandelion-like flower heads are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) across and have numerous yellow, strap-shaped, blunt-tipped, minutely toothed ligules (ray petals) that are usually striped with red or purple below. The leaves are grayish green, sessile, mainly basal, alternate and much smaller on the stems, lance-shaped, and often deeply pinnately lobed with triangular lobes. The stems are branched, decumbent or spreading-ascending, hairless, and green, glaucous, or reddish purple in color.
The other Malacothrix species found here are taller and have erect or ascending stems. Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) has finer flower petals, is much greener and leafier, and grows only in moist areas like lawns and riparian areas and not out in the dry, open desert and grasslands.
Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Family: Asteraceae – Aster family
Genus: Malacothrix DC. – desertdandelion
Species: Malacothrix fendleri A. Gray – Fendler's desertdandelion
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