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Pyrrocoma crocea
Pyrrocoma crocea
 
Pyrrocoma crocea.  Synonym: Haplopappus croceus. (Goldenweed)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Montane. Openings, woodlands. Summer.
Kilpacker Trail, July 22, 2004.

Pyrrocoma crocea looks, at first glance, as if it is a cross between a Wyethia (long, broad, upright basal leaves; very large flower head) and Hymenoxys hoopesii (prominent light-colored leaf mid-vein; long, upright flower stem; large golden yellow flowers with narrow rays).  It isn't a blend of the two but since it even shares some of their habitats, misidentification is easy.

Pyrrocoma croceas can grow to three feet tall in montane meadows and may be growing in the same area as Hymenoxys hoopesii, but Pyrrocoma really prefers more moist and seasonally wet meadows and roadsides. 

"Pyrrocoma" is Greek for "tawny mane" and refers to the pappus color. "Crocea", from the Greek for "Crocus", refers to the saffron/orange color of the flower.

Charles Parry collected the first specimens of this plant for science in 1862 and Asa Gray named it Haplopappus croceus in 1864 .  Edwin Greene renamed it Pyrrocoma crocea in 1894.

Pyrrocoma crocea.  Synonym: Haplopappus croceus. (Goldenweed)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Montane. Openings, woodlands. Summer.
Kilpacker Trail, July 22, 2004.

Pyrrocoma crocea.  Synonym: Haplopappus croceus. (Goldenweed)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Montane. Openings, woodlands. Summer.
Lone Mesa State Park, July 9, 2008.

The large, rounded, overlapping, cabbage-looking (see below) phyllaries are key in identifying this species.

  
Pyrrocoma crocea.  Synonym: Haplopappus croceus. (Goldenweed)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Montane. Openings, woodlands. Summer.
Kilpacker Trail, July 22, 2004.
Lone Mesa State Park, July 9, 2008.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Pyrrocoma crocea