Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)
Semi-desert, foothills. Woodlands, openings. Spring.
Very fine thread-like mounds of leaves are evident for weeks before tall slender stalks arise and are then topped by several small lemon yellow to golden yellow flowers. Hymenopappus filifolius, like so many members of the Asteraceae Family that are composed only of disk flowers, is easily overlooked.
"Hymenopappus" refers to the membranous pappus (small scales, bristles, or hairs at the apex of the seed) and "filifolius" is from the Latin "fili", "thread" and "folius", "leaf".
The botanist David Douglas (of Douglas Fir fame) first collected this plant along the Columbia River "near Wallawallah" in the late 1820s and it was described and named by famed British botanist William Jackson Hooker in his Flora Boreali-Americana in 1833.