Stems usually stiff, erect. Leaves often fascicled on older growth; blades 5-35 mm. Heads terminal (± pedunculate) or in leaf axils (sessile). Involucres 12-20 mm. Phyllaries: gland-dotted, sometimes puberulent as well, margins narrowly hyaline, apices acute. Corollas 15-20 mm, throats usually purplish, lobes creamy white. Cypselae yellow-green to golden brown, 11-14 mm; pappus scales mostly brownish to purplish with colorless, hyaline margins, aristae of the longer 1-3+ mm, scabrous. 2n = 22.
Flowering Jan-Jun. Sandy soils, rock outcrops in grasslands, chaparral, pine-oak woodlands; 900-2200 m; Ariz., N.Mex., Tex.; Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Sonora).
FNA 2006, Martin and Hutchins 1980, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Subshrub with stiff, erect stems, woody at base, to 30 cm tall, branches slender and brittle. Leaves: Opposite, lower leaves oblong-spatulate, 5-35 mm long, often fascicled on older growth in axils, upper leaves oblong to linear. Flowers: Terminal heads solitary or clustered, sessile or on very short peduncles from leaf axils, usually at summit of leafy branches; involucres 12-20 mm, cylindrical, rose colored; phyllaries gland-dotted, sometimes puberulent as well, margins narrowly hyaline, apices acute; corollas 15-20 mm, throats usually purplish, lobes creamy white. Fruits: Cypselae yellow-green to golden brown, 11-14 mm, puberulent with pappus scales mostly brownish to purplish with colorless, hyaline margins. Ecology: Found in sandy soils, on rock outcrops, in grasslands, chaparral, and pine-oak woodlands; 3,000-7,500 ft (914-2286 m); flowers January-June. Distribution: s and e AZ, c and s NM, sw TX; south to n MEX. Notes: Usually found unflowering throughout the year, distinctive by being a small subshrub, many parts gaining a reddish tint with its opposite and small oblong-spatulate leaves that are usually still green and are in bunches from nodes (fascicles) with age. Another stand-out character are the disc flowers with rose throats and showy white spreading lobes, and the long pappus bristles which emerge from the narrowly-cylindrical, greenish rose-colored heads. Very indistinct plant, but once identified you will notice how widespread it is. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Carphochaete comes from Greek karphos for chaff and chaite, long bristle, while bigelovii is named for Dr. John Milton Bigelow (1804-1878) professor of botany and collector on the Whipple expedition of 1853-1854. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2014