Flowering Season: April, May to September and October
Elevation: 2,000 to 8,000 feet (610-2,438 m)
Habitat Preferences: Plains, mesas and hillsides; desert scrub, often among shrubs, dry disturbed areas.
Recorded Range: Found in the southwest and the southern part of the northwest in the United States in AZ, CA, CO, ID, NM, NV, NY, OR, TX, UT, WY. This species is also native in northern Baja California and Mexico. Most heavily represented in southeast California, Nevada, Utah, New Mexico and Arizona.
Genus Information: In North America there are 17 species for Stephanomeria. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 18 accepted species names and a further 29 scientific names of infraspecific rank for Stephanomeria.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 6 species of Stephanomeria, California has 11 species, Nevada has 7 species, New Mexico and Utah each have 5 species and Texas has 4 species. Data approximate, subject to revision.
There are 5 sub-species in Stephanomeria exigua in the United States and northwest Baja California and Mexico;
Stephanomeria exigua ssp. carotifera, Whiteplume Wirelettuce, (CA);
Stephanomeria exigua ssp. coronaria, Whiteplume Wirelettuce, (CA, ID, NV, OR);
Stephanomeria exigua ssp. deanei, Deane's Wirelettuce, (CA);
Stephanomeria exigua ssp. exigua, Small Wirelettuce, AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, TX, UT, WY);
Stephanomeria exigua ssp. macrocarpa, Whiteplume Wirelettuce, (CA).
Comments: Small Wirelettuce is an inconspicuous spindly and bland looking forb/herb usually growing among shrubs and subshrub for both shade and support. The plants are generally inconspicuous although their small white or pinkish flowers are readily apparent. In fact, the flowers are rather striking if you take a closer look, even without the aid of a 10 power loop.
Small Wirelettuce, Stephanomeria exigua has small but attractive attractive flowers, the flowers, their seeds may be visited by hummingbirds and/or small mammals including rodents and granivorous birds in search of nectar or food.
Beneficial Value to Butterflies, Honey Bees and Insects
Small Wirelettuce, Stephanomeria exigua has attractive flowers, the flowers may be visited by butterflies, moths, flies, honeybees and other insects in search of food and nectar.
Special Value to Native Bees
According to The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation, Small Wirelettuce, Stephanomeria exigua is recognized by pollination ecologists as attracting large numbers of Native bees. Click here for more information on their Pollinator Conservation Program.
The genus “Stephanomeria” (Stephanomer'ia:) derived from the Greek stephane, “wreath or crown,” and meros, “division.”. Thus references to the pappus on the cypselafruit.