in A. Gray et al., Syn. Fl. N. Amer. 1(2): 422. 1884.
Annuals, (5–)10–40+ cm. Stems (1–)3–5+, ascending to erect, usually branched proximally and distally, glabrous or sparsely arachno-puberulent near bases (sometimes glaucous). Cauline leaves: proximal usually pinnately lobed (lobes 3–6+ pairs, usually filiform, subequal to unequal, apices acute), ultimate margins entire, faces glabrous or ± hairy (then usually glabrescent); distal reduced (usually pinnately lobed). Calyculi of 12–20+, lanceolate to linear bractlets, hyaline margins 0.05–0.2 mm wide (abaxial faces often ± densely white-hairy). Involucres campanulate to hemispheric, 9–17 × 4–7 mm. Phyllaries 20–25+ in 2–3 series, lance-linear to linear, hyaline margins 0.05–0.3 mm wide, faces usually glabrous, abaxial sometimes ± white-hairy. Receptacles bristly. Florets 31–139; corollas usually pale yellow, sometimes white, 15–23+ mm; outer ligules exserted 9–15+ mm. Cypselae ± cylindro-fusiform (sometimes weakly 5-angled), 2–3.3 mm, ribs extending to apices, usually ± equal; persistent pappi of 0–12+, blunt to acute teeth plus 1–2(–5) bristles. Pollen 70–100% 3-porate. 2n = 14.
Phenology: Flowering Mar–Jul.
Habitat: Coarse soils in open areas, or among shrubs, creosote bush scrublands, Amsinckia, Artemisia, and Atriplex-Larrea associations, Joshua tree woodlands
Elevation: 0–1800 m
Ariz., Calif., Idaho, Nev., N.Mex., Oreg., Utah, Mexico (Baja California, Sonora).
Malacothrix glabrata grows in the Mojave, Great Basin, and Sonoran deserts in California and the Intermountain region in Arizona, Nevada, Oregon, and Utah.