Shrubs, 25-70 cm. Stems single, greenish when young, becoming whitish to gray, fastigiately branched distal to middle (angled from leaf bases), glabrous or puberulent. Leaves ascending to appressed; blades linear or linear-oblong, 4-35 × 0.5-3 mm, flat or adaxially concave, margins ciliolate, midveins evident, often purplish, apices acute to acuminate, faces glabrous. Heads usually in cymiform to corymbiform arrays 0.5-7 cm wide, sometimes borne singly. Involucres obconic to cylindric, 10-15 × 4-6 mm. Phyllaries 20-25 in 4-5 series, in 5 vertical ranks, mostly tan, shiny, with green subapical patch, midnerves mostly evident on distal 1 / 2 , keeled, ovate to oblong or lanceolate, 1-10 × 0.8-2.3 mm, unequal, mostly chartaceous, margins entire, narrowly scarious, apices acute to attenuate or acuminate, faces glabrous. Receptacles with 0-1 central awn ca. 0.5 mm. Ray florets 0. Disc florets 5; corollas 9-14 mm, glabrous, lobes 1-1.7 mm; style branches exserted, 4.1-4.6 mm, appendages narrowly triangular, 2-2.8 mm. Cypselae brownish, turbinate, 5-7 mm, sharply 4-angled, 5-8 ribbed, faces sparsely or rarely densely hairy; pappi yellowish tan, 9-12 mm. 2n = 18 [as Chrysothamnus pulchellus]. Flowering late summer-fall. Open high plains, especially in sandy sites; 1300-2400 m; Ariz., Colo., Kans., N.Mex., Okla., Tex., Utah; Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila). Lorandersonia baileyi is often treated as a subspecies of L. pulchella. Phylogenetic analyses (R. P. Roberts and L. E. Urbatsch 2004) indicate that the two are not sister taxa.
FNA 2006, Heil et al. 2013
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Shrub General: Shrubs, 25-70 cm tall; stems single, greenish when young, becoming whitish to gray, fastigiately branched (parallel branching which gives a broom-like appearance), glabrous or puberulent. Leaves: Leaves alternate along the stems, ascending to appressed; blades linear or linear-oblong, 0.5- 3.5 cm long and up to 3 mm wide, flat, glabrous, with pointed tips, ciliolate margins, and evident, often purplish midveins. Flowers: Flower heads discoid and yellowish, usually arranged in cymiform to corymbiform arrays; involucres obconic to cylindric, 10-15 mm high and 5 mm wide, the bracts (phyllaries) 20-25 per flower head in 4-5 strongly graduated series, mostly tan and shiny with a green spot below the tip; florets all discs, 5 per flower head, the corollas 9-14 mm high, yellow. Fruits: Achenes brownish, turbinate, 5-7 mm long, sharply 4-angled and 5-8 ribbed, hairy; topped with a pappus of yellowish tan bristles,these 1 cm long. Ecology: Found on open high plains and in woodlands, especially in sandy sites from 4,000-8,000 ft (1219-2438 m); flowers August to October. Distribution: AZ, CO, KS, NM, OK, TX, UT; south to MEX Notes: Lorandersonia is a Chrysothamnus segregate and could easily be mistaken for a member of that genus. This species is distinguished by due to the lack of glands on the leaves and stems; the small, mostly flat leaves only a couple cm long and up to 3 mm wide; the single purple vein visible on the underside of each leaf; the 1 cm long pappus of bristles attached too each seed; and the shrub's relatively short stature, under 1 m tall. Lorandersonia baileyi is often treated as a subspecies of L. pulchella; however there is molecular evidence that the two species are not sister taxa, and therefore are treated as distinct species in the Flora of North America. To tell the two species apart, use your hand lens and look at the leaf margins. L. baileyi has minutely ciliate margins and L. pulchella has entire margins. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Lorandersonia honors Chrysothamnus enthusiast Loran C. Anderson, (1936- ); baileyi honors American botanist William W. Bailey (1843-1914). Editor: AHazelton 2017