Our mystery seeds from last week were from whitestem paperflower (also called Cooper’s paperflower or paper daisy), Psilostrophe cooperi.

paperflower-plant-101The whitestem paperflower is a small perennial with the unusual characteristic that the flowers remain intact as they dry on the plant.

paperflower-againThe fresh flowers are bright yellow.

paperflower-driedThe dried, papery flowers turn beige or cream color. They have a bundle of seeds inside.

paperflower-at-dbgThis fun little plant is native to the Southwest. They bloom mainly in the spring, but may bloom again throughout the year.

paperflower-plant-wholeAs you can see, the whitestem paperflower doesn’t have a lot of foliage, only very thin leaves covered with silvery or white hairs.

Just FYI, while looking for other photos of the seeds, I found the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden has an extensive list of seed photographs.  The list includes whitestem paperflower seeds (which they call paper daisy) and the related Helenium (sneeze weed).