Stenotus acaulis (syn. Haplopappus acaulis)is a very nice dwarf aster from the Western states (CA,NV,OR,WA,ID,MT,WY,CO,and AZ). It's range starts at the Eastern Sierra Nevada Range traveling eastward across the Great Basin Wasache and Uinta ranges. Then crossing the Middle Rockies and into the Wyoming Basin. Within this vast range there is a lot of variability and integration among regionally distinct populations.
This little mat forming desert and alpine daisy, forms condensed 2"(2cm) tall mats of upward pointing lance shaped leaves, that dry through the summer and become very prickly to the touch. The yellow spring flowers are held above the mats from 1"-4" (2.5-10cm). In the populations of the Eastern Great Basin you can see plants with wider full petals blooming along side plants with strap like petals. Both forms equally charming. It is not uncommon to see wild mats with portions dead and the remainder flourishing. As the mats expand their new rosettes send down, their own sets of new wiry tap roots. This makes it fairly easy to separate new cuttings.