Psilocarphus brevissimus var. brevissimus (Dwarf Woolly-Heads) - photos and description








Stem leaves are linear-oblong

Gnaphalium palustre in centre; all other grey-coloured plants are Psilocarphus brevissimus var. brevissimus

General: Low woolly annual plants. Plants single-stemmed to branching, erect to decumbent. Stunted plants were only 1 cm tall. Leaves, upper stems, and flower heads all woolly.

Flowers: Flower heads grow in compact clusters at stem tips and from leaf axils. Flowers lack involucral bracts and ray florets. We measured a flower cluster at 5 mm long by 6 mm wide.

Leaves: Stem leaves are opposite, entire, linear-oblong, we measured a leaf 6 mm long by 2 mm wide. A whorl of leaves subtends the flower heads.

Height: Height listed in Budd's Flora to 15 cm tall, we measured plants from 1 cm to 7 cm tall.

Habitat: Depressions in prairie which hold spring pools of water, southwest Saskatchewan.

Abundance: This plant is very rare, ranked as an S1 (as of 2021) by the Saskatchewan Conservation Data Centre.

Origin: Native.

Similar species: This plant might be mistaken for Gnaphalium palustre which shares the same habitat and is also a low-growing annual with woolly foliage. G. palustre however has alternate stem leaves, where those of Psilocarphus brevissimus var brevissimus has opposite stem leaves.

When and where photographed: The above photos were taken July 4th depression in prairie about ~ 40 metres in diameter, full of small hummocks, about 500 km southwest of Regina, SK, and July 10th on an ephemeral prairie wetland, south of the west block of Grasslands National Park, about 450 km southwest of our home in Regina, SK.