E-Flora BC: Electronic Atlas of the Flora of British Columbia

Chaenactis douglasii (Hook.) Hook. & Arn.
Hoary Pincushion (Douglas' dustymaiden; hoary false yarrow)
Asteraceae (Aster family)

Introduction to Vascular Plants

© Christine Rimmington  Email the photographer   (Photo ID #86584)

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Distribution of Chaenactis douglasii
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Chaenactis douglasii var. douglasii

Species Information

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Biennial or perennial herb from a taproot; stems ascending to erect, sparsely to densely woolly, sometimes glandular in the inflorescence, 10-60 cm tall.
Basal leaves 1-3 pinnately cut, 2-12 cm long, stalked, ultimate segments contorted and curled; stem leaves reduced and becoming unstalked upwards.
Heads discoid, usually several in a flat-topped inflorescence, or the lateral branches overtopping the central axis; involucres 7-17 mm tall; involucral bracts narrowly oblanceolate, glandular or glandular-hairy; disk flowers 50-70, white, sometimes pinkish.
Achenes 6-8 mm long, densely stiff-hairy; pappus of 10-16 unequal scales.
A second Chaenactis (C. douglasii var. alpina Gray [C. alpina]) has previously been recognized as occurring in BC (Douglas et al. 1989). During 1995 the site of the only collection of the this taxon in BC was revisited and all plants in the population were identified as C. douglasii var. douglasii. The original collection was of an atypical plant, without stem leaves.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia

USDA Species Characteristics

Flower Colour:
Blooming Period:
Early Summer
Fruit/Seed characteristics:
Colour: Brown
Present from Summer to Fall
Source:  The USDA

Habitat / Range

Dry sandy or rocky slopes, grasslands, shrublands, scree and talus slopes in the steppe to alpine zones; common in S BC east of the Coast-Cascade Mountains; E to MO and S to AZ, NV and CA.

Source: The Illustrated Flora of British Columbia


Ecological Framework for Chaenactis douglasii

The table below shows the species-specific information calculated from
original data (BEC database) provided by the BC Ministry of Forests and Range.
(Updated August, 2013)

Site Information
Value / Class




Elevation (metres) 321 661 1584
Slope Gradient (%) 0 28 65
Aspect (degrees)
[0 - N; 90 - E; 180 - S; 270 - W]
10 181 345
Soil Moisture Regime (SMR)
[0 - very xeric; 4 - mesic;
8 - hydric]
0 1 4
Modal Nutrient Regime
Number of field plots
 species was recorded in:
Modal BEC Zone Class
All BEC Zones (# of stations/zone) species was recorded in: BG(21), ESSF(1), IDF(12), MS(1), PP(14)


The climate type for this species, as reported in the: "British Columbia plant species codes and selected attributes. Version 6 Database" (Meidinger et al. 2008), is not evaluated, unknown or variable.

Taxonomic and Nomenclatural Links

Additional Photo Sources

General References