Plant Image
Flower head

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Malacothrix fendleri - Fendler's desert dandelion

Other Common Names: Fendler's dandelion, desert dandelion
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Asteraceae

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Basal leaves
Max Licher @
Max Licher @
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Annual
General Desc: Low, basal cluster of lobed, pinnate leaves. Plant stems may be along ground or along ground and then ascending. Yellow flowers at the end of branched stems are dandelion-like.
Identification notes: Spreading or ascending sparingly branched annual; leaves mostly in a basal tuft, spaculate in shape, deeply lobed to pinnatifid; flower heads are yellow ray flowers borne at the tips of sparsely leafy branches; ray flowers are purplish on the underside.
Height: 1 to 6 inches


Habitat Description: Foothills, sandy plains and mesas. Grasslands, pinyon-juniper woodlands and desert scrub (cresote associations).
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland
Elevation: 2000 - 5000 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Yellow     Shape: Daisy or dandelion-like not in clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Mar - Jun
Description: Flower heads are 1 to 1-1/2 inches wide consisting of many yellow, notched ray petals. The backs of the petals are washed with purple or lavendar.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Grayish-green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Pinnatifid     Leaf Margin: Smooth     Leaf Attachment: Basal     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: No     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Basal leaves are lobed to pinnatifid, 1 to 3 inches long. Stems are without hairs but may have a waxy coating.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Dark brown   
Fruit Type: Achene
Seed Notes: Cylindric, evenly ribbed or striate, topped with white bristles.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 7.0  
Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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