Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Psilocarphus tenellus
slender woollyheads

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

Habitat: Dry or seasonally moist barren or wooded slopes or flats, often on disturbed sites.

Flowers: March-August

Origin: Native

Conservation Status: Review Group 1 in Washington (WANHP)


Small annuals, the plants greenish to grayish, silky to spider-webby, the stems 2-10, prostrate to ascending.


Leaves subtending the heads, spreading, not appressed to the heads, spatulate to obovate, 6-15 mm. long, the length 2 to 5 times the width and 1.5 to 2.5 times the head height.


Heads discoid, spheroid, 3-5.5 mm. in diameter; involucre none; receptacle not lobed; pistillate flowers with a filiform-tubular corolla 1.5-2.7 mm. long, each enclosed by a saccate, woolly bract; staminate corollas usually 5-lobed, 0.8-1.5 mm. long; pappus none.


Achenes narrowly obovoid, slightly compressed, 0.7-1.2 mm. long.

Accepted Name:
Psilocarphus tenellus Nutt.
Publication: Trans. Amer. Philos. Soc., n. s. 7: 341. 1840.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Psilocarphus tenellus Nutt. var. tenellus [HC]
Additional Resources:

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

WA Flora Checklist: Psilocarphus tenellus checklist entry.

E-Flora BC: Psilocarphus tenellus atlas page.

CalPhotos: Psilocarphus tenellus photos.

USDA Plants: Psilocarphus tenellus information.

10 photographs:
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