Enceliopsis nudicaulis is native to the western United States: Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Nevada, Arizona, and California including the Inyo Mountains-White Mountains and sky islands the Mojave Desert in California. It grows in desert, plateau, and montane habitats.
Enceliopsis nudicaulis is a perennial herb growing up to 40 centimeters (16 inches) tall from a woody caudex fringed with gray-green hairy leaves. The leaves are oval and up to 6 centimeters (2.4 inches) long and wide.
The inflorescence is a solitary flower head atop a tall, erect peduncle. The flower head has a base made up of three layers of densely woolly, pointed phyllaries. It has a fringe of approximately 21 yellow ray florets each 2 to 4 centimeters (0.8-1.6 inches) long. The fruit is a hairy achene about one centimeter (0.4 inches) in length.
There are two recognized varieties of this species:
- Enceliopsis nudicaulis var. corrugata, the Ash Meadows sunray, the rarer one which is probably endemic to Nevada in the vicinity of Ash Meadows in the Amargosa Desert and is federally listed as a threatened species.
- Enceliopsis nudicaulis var. nudicaulis - most of species range
- The Plant List, Enceliopsis nudicaulis (A. Gray) A. Nelson
- Calflora taxon report, University of California, Enceliopsis nudicaulis (A. Gray) Nelson, naked stemmed daisy, nakedstem sunray
- Biota of North America PRogram 2014 county distribution map
- Flora of North America, Naked-stemmed daisy, Enceliopsis nudicaulis (A. Gray) A. Nelson
- Nevada Natural Heritage Program Rare Plants Fact Sheet
- Jepson Manual: var. nudicaulis
- Calflora Database: Enceliopsis nudicaulis (Naked stemmed daisy, Nakedstem sunray)
- Jepson Manual Treatment — Enceliopsis nudicaulis
- United States Department of Agriculture Plants Profile: Enceliopsis nudicaulis
- UC Calphotos gallery of Enceliopsis nudicaulis
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