“DYC” (Two More Yellow Flowers)

20160309-_DSC0568

Anisocoma acaulis
scale bud
Asteraceae

 

and

20160309-_DSC0619

 

 

Malacothrix glabrata
desert dandelion
Asteraceae

 

 

While researching the Aster family, I stumbled across the term “DYC” – “damned yellow composite”, used by Lady Bird Johnson, among others. It’s the floral equivalent of birders’ “LBJ”. Ha! That’s how I was starting to feel trying to identify these two plants, which have very similar inflorescences but quite different leaves.

“Which flower is that?”
“I dunno, another DYC.”

The most obvious difference is the red dot in the center of the dandelion, but that only shows on young flowers.  The better way to distinguish them is by looking at the leaves.

20160309-_DSC0570

Scale bud’s leaves are a light gray-green and deeply notched – not to confuse things, but they’re shaped somewhat like dandelion leaves.

 

 

20160310-_DSC0893

Desert dandelion has darker leaves with much narrower lobes – they look almost like threads.

 

 

 

The desert dandelion ranges from New Mexico west and north to Oregon and Idaho. Scale bud’s range is limited to Arizona, California, and Nevada. Both plants are annuals.

I found both of these species near Dante’s View, at an elevation of about 5000 feet. If they occurred elsewhere in the park I failed to notice. Maybe because I was getting exhausted.  Or maybe because they’re, you know… DYCs.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s