With its elegantly cut, large basal leaves as the backdrop to its stalked clusters of large, yellow, ray-less flowers, silvercrown puts on a show among pine and mixed conifer forests in the Klamath-Siskiyou region of southwest Oregon and northwest California. Uncommon but widespread throughout the Klamath-Siskiyou region, silvercrown’s wider range extends from southern British Columbia southward to the California Coast Range in Sonoma County. Cacaliopsis is a monotypic genus in the aster (Asteraceae) plant family, which contains the single species Cacaliopsis nardosmia, or silvercrown. This species is also referred to by the common names cut leaf cacaliopsis, yellow-pine coltsfoot, or tall silvercrown. The reason this species is called silvercrown is unknown, but it could be a reference to its appearance when it is going to seed, when the white, fluffy pappus is quite showy.
A robust, rhizomatous perennial, silvercrown can be found growing on a wide variety of soils and in a wide variety of habitat types in the Klamath-Siskiyou region, including oak woodland, pine forests, mixed conifer forests, and in meadows, sunny openings, and on rocky serpentine ridgelines. Tolerant of shade and part-shade, silvercrown will also grow in full sun, depending on elevation and site conditions. The flowering stalks of silvercrown can grow to 1′ – 3′ tall, topped with clusters of yellow, ray-less, curly-tipped disc florets that look like a bunch of tiny yellow firecrackers packed into a discoid flower head. The flowers are very attractive to a wide variety of pollinators, including large butterflies like swallowtails.
Silvercrown (Cacaliopsis nardosmia) seed packets contain approximately 45 seeds per packet.
Seed Germination Instructions
60 days cold-moist stratification. Sow outside in fall to late winter.