in W. H. Brewer et al., Bot. California 1: 433. 1876.
Annuals, 4–36 cm. Stems 1–5, erect or ascending, branched mostly distally, glabrous. Cauline leaves: proximal oblanceolate to lance-linear, sometimes pinnately lobed, not fleshy, ultimate margins usually dentate, faces glabrous; distal reduced (margins 2–4-dentate near bases or entire). Calyculi of 5–12, lance-deltate to lanceolate bractlets, hyaline margins 0.05–0.2 mm. Involucres narrowly campanulate, 4–8+ × 2–4+ mm. Phyllaries 8–15+ in 2+ series, lance-linear to linear, ± equal, hyaline margins 0.05–0.3 mm wide, abaxial faces glabrous. Receptacles not bristly. Florets (19–67); corollas pale yellow, 4–7.4 mm; outer ligules exserted 1–3 mm. Cypselae fusiform or prismatic, 1.2–1.8 mm, ribs extending to apices, 5 more prominent than others; persistent pappi of 15–24+, needlelike teeth plus 1 bristle. Pollen 70–100% 3-porate, mean 25 µm. 2n = 14.
Phenology: Flowering Mar–Jun.
Habitat: Cleared areas (burns, slides), usually chaparral, rarely margins of creosote bush shrub
Elevation: 20–1500 m
Introduced; Calif., Mexico (Baja California), South America (Argentina, Chile).
Malacothrix clevelandii grows in northwestern California, Sierra Nevada foothills, San Joaquin Valley, central western California, and northern Channel Islands (Santa Rosa Island).