Biennials or perennials (rarely flowering first year), 10-30(-60+) cm. Stems arachno-villous (gray to gray-green). Heads in ± loose to crowded, corymbiform arrays. Peduncles (3-)12-20(-40) mm. Involucres 4-8 mm. Rays 3-4(-6); laminae (3-)7-14+ mm, spreading in fruit. Disc florets 6-9(-12). Cypselae usually glabrous, sometimes hirtellous and/or gland-dotted; pappi of (4-)6-8 elliptic or lanceolate to lance-subulate scales 2-3+ mm. 2n = 32.
FNA 2006, Martin and Hutchins 1980, Heil, et al. 2013
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Perennial herb to subshrub, 10-60 cm tall, from a woody taproot; stems clustered at the base, usually branched above, villous and gray to gray-green. Leaves: Basal leaves petiolate, withering with age; stem leaves alternate and usually sessile; basal blades obovate to spatulate, entire or pinnately lobed, to 10 cm long, villous; stem leaves smaller, linear to oblanceolate, usually less villous than basal leaves. Flowers: Flower heads showy, yellow, and radiate, numerous in corymbs at branch tips, on peduncles 1-2 cm long; involucres cylindric to campanulate, 4-7 mm high, the bracts (phyllaries) in 1-2 subequal series, densely woolly; ray florets 2-6 per flower head, the laminae (ray petals) yellow, 7-14 mm long, wider than long, shallowly lobed, spreading in fruit; disc florets 6-9 per flower head, yellow. Fruits: Achenes linear, 2 mm long, striate, glabrous or slightly hairy; topped with a pappus of 6-8 elliptic or lanceolate to lance-subulate scales, 2-3 mm long. Ecology: Found in open sites, often on limestone soils, saline flats, or sandy soils, from 2,000-8,000 ft (610-2438 m); flowers May-September. Distribution: UT and AZ, east to TX and KS; south to MEX. Ethnobotany: Used medicinally to treat stomach aches, itching, sore throats, and snake bites; also used ceremonially and to make a yellow paint or dye; known to be toxic. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, AHazelton 2017 Etymology: Psilostrophe is from Greek psilos, naked or bare, and trophos, a nurturer or nurse, alluding to the naked, epaleate receptacle (the "nurse"); tagetina means similar to the genus Tagetes, the marigold genus.