Pectis papposa is native to North America, where it occurs in the southwestern United States as far east as Texas, and in northern Mexico. Common names include cinchweed, common chinchweed, many-bristle chinchweed, and many-bristle fetid-marigold.
The Seri call the plant casol, casol heecto ("small casol"), casol ihasii tiipe ("fragrant casol"), and cacatajc ("what causes vomiting") and use it medicinally. The Pima use a decoction of the plant or the dried plant itself as a laxative. The Zuni people take an infusion of the whole plant as a carminative, and use an infusion of the flowers as eye drops for snowblindness. They also use the chewed flowers as perfume before dancing in ceremonies of "the secret fraternities". The Havasupai parch and grind the seeds and use them to make mush and soup. They also dip the fresh plant in salt water and eat it with mush or cornmeal as a condiment. The Pueblo use it as a spice.