This roadside plant fills vacant lots and pastures throughout California and Oregon. It can grow to two feet tall, with rigid, erect stems. It blooms in the summer. Those small, linear-shaped leaves beneath the flower head remain after the larger leaves have fallen...and they hurt if they poke you!
And since this is an open book test, include the botanical name (genus and species) as well as the common name.
Be one of the first three correct responders and win a copy of the Dr. Earth Gardening Guide!
And for chrissakes, don't put the answer in the "comment" section! Snarky rejoinders are always welcome, there, though.
FRIDAY UPDATE: WE HAVE OUR WINNERS, CONGRATULATIONS!
The mystery plant:
Fitch's Spikeweed (Hemizonia fitchii)
For more information: The Outdoor World of the Sacramento Region
or, for you true plant nerds: