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Fremont's Chaffbush (Amphipappus fremontii)
Shrubs Around Las Vegas, Vegetation Around Las Vegas
Fremont's Chaffbush (Amphipappus fremontii)

General: Fremont's Chaffbush (Amphipappus fremontii) is a low, mounded, many branched but densely packed shrub most easily recognized by the thin, white, pointed branches. The leaves are small and oval. Yellow flowerheads develop at the tips of fresh growth in the spring.

Fremont's Chaffbush is a locally common component of desert vegetation communities on well-drained sandy, gravelly, and rocky soils in canyons and on slopes into the lower mountains in the Upper Sonoran (Mojave Desert Scrub and Pinyon-Juniper Woodland) life zone.

 

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae).

Fremont's Chaffbush (Amphipappus fremontii)

Plant Form: Low, mounted shrub.

Height: To about 18 inches (3 feet).

Bark: Light gray to white.

Stems: Many branches, twigs thin.

Leaves: Blade usually less than 1-inch long (to about 1-3/4 inches), oval, edge entire near the stem, serrate towards the tip.

Flowers: Blooms late spring. Inflorescence: raceme about 1-1/2 inches long with up to 8 flowers. Flowers: petals to about 1/2-inch long, white.

Fremont's Chaffbush (Amphipappus fremontii)
Flowerhead

Seeds:

Habitat: Dry, well-drained sandy, gravelly, and rocky soils on upper bajadas and moderate slopes in the lower mountains.

Elevation: To about 5,000 feet.

Distribution: Mojave Desert from California to Utah and Arizona.

Comments:

Fremont's Chaffbush (Amphipappus fremontii)
Amphipappus fremontii var. spinosus: fresh growth densely covered with short, stiff hairs

There are two varieties of chaffbush in southern Nevada:

Fresh growth (twigs, peduncles, and leaves) without hairs (NE Mojave Desert)

  • Amphipappus fremontii var. fremontii

Fresh growth (twigs, peduncles, and leaves) densely covered with short, stiff hairs (east and central Mojave Desert)

  • Amphipappus fremontii var. spinosus.
Fremont's Chaffbush (Amphipappus fremontii) Fremont's Chaffbush (Amphipappus fremontii)
Fremont's Chaffbush (Amphipappus fremontii)
Many stiff stems going in all directions
Fremont's Chaffbush (Amphipappus fremontii)
Fresh stem with leaves
Fremont's Chaffbush (Amphipappus fremontii)
Alternate branching pattern
Fremont's Chaffbush (Amphipappus fremontii)
Plant with flowerheads
Fremont's Chaffbush (Amphipappus fremontii)
During winter, the leaves are lost
more to come ...

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate. Names generally follow the USDA database.
copyright; Last updated 141118

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