Flower Color: White, pinkish, purplish corollas; disk flowers only, about ½ inches (3.81 cm) wide, anthers purple to brown; flowers terminal in dense clusters of 1 to 5 or more on tips of purple stems; the fruit is a cypsela.
Flowering Season: June to November, blooms summer and fall following monsoon rains.
Elevation: 4,000 to 8,000 feet (1,219-2,438 m)
Habitat Preferences: Pine forests, scrub-oak, pinyon-juniper, chaparral vegetation and upper deserts, rocky slopes and roadsides, sandy and gravelly soils.
Recorded Range: Relatively rare in the southwest United States found only in AZ, CA, NM and TX. It is best represented in Arizona where it may be encountered throughout the state. New Mexico has modest populations mostly in the southern part of the state and California and Texas have fewer specimens recorded. It is also native to northern Baja California and northern Mexico in Sonora and Chihuahua.
North America species range map for Wright's Thimblehead, Hymenothrix wrightii:
North American range map courtesy of Virginia Tech, Dept. of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation
Click image for full size map
Genus Information: In North America there are 3 species and 3 accepted taxa overall for Hymenothrix. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 6 accepted species names and a further 10 scientific names of infraspecific rank for the genus.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 3 species of Hymenothrix, California, New Mexico and Texas each have 2 species, Nevada has 1 species and Utah has 0 species. Data approximate and subject to revision.
Comments: The taxonomic type species for Wright’s Thimblehead is from Arizona. Wright’s Thimblehead is similar in appearance to two other species of Hymenothrix found in Arizona, Loomis’ Thimblehead, Hymenothrix Loomisii and Trans-Pecos Thimblehead Hymenothrix wislizeni. These species both have cream or yellow flowers and yellow anthers while Wright’s Thimblehead has white or pinkish corollas and pinkish anther.
Thimblehead, Hymenothrix wrightii flowers, seeds and plants may be visited, eaten or used by hummingbirds and/or small mammals including rodents in search of food, nectar, shelter and protection through cover.
Beneficial Value to Butterflies, Bees and Insects
Thimblehead, Hymenothrix wrightii brightly colored flowers and herbaceous plants may be visited by butterflies, moths and other insects in search of food.
The genus “Hymenothrix” (Hymeno'thrix:) from the Greek hymen, “membrane,” and thrix, “bristle,” referring to the pappus.