Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Psilocarphus elatior
tall woollyheads

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to Idaho and Montana.

Habitat: Dried beds of vernal pools and other open, moist places.

Flowers: May-August

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Not of concern


Small, silky-woolly, monoecious annuals, varying from erect, branched plants to 15 cm. tall to plants with a single head only 1 cm. tall.


Leaves opposite, liner-oblong, up to 3.5 cm. long and 6 mm. wide.


Pistillate flowers usually 50-80 in each head, the corolla filiform-tubular, each enclosed by a saccate bract about 3 mm. long attached to the receptacle; heads usually strongly surpassed by their subtending leaves; receptacle lobed, each lobe bearing a cluster of a few staminate flowers; involucre none; pappus none; style apical.


Achenes narrowly oblong, swollen, 1.0-1.7 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Psilocarphus elatior (A. Gray) A. Gray
Publication: Syn. Fl. N. Amer. ed. 2. 1: 448. 1886.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Psilocarphus oregonus Nutt. var. elatior A. Gray
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Psilocarphus elatior in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database.

WA Flora Checklist: Psilocarphus elatior checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Psilocarphus elatior atlas page.

CalPhotos: Psilocarphus elatior photos.

USDA Plants: Psilocarphus elatior information.

12 photographs:
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