Zircons from the Devils Kitchen rhyolite in the Pleistocene Coso Volcanic field, California have been analyzed by in situ Pb/U ion microprobe (SHRIMP-RG) and by detailed cathodoluminescence imaging. The zircons yield common-Pb-corrected and disequilibrium-corrected 206Pb/238U ages that predate a previously reported K-Ar sanidine age by up to 200 kyr, and the range of ages exhibited by the zircons is also approximately 200 kyr. Cathodoluminescence imaging indicates that zircons formed in contrasting environments. Most zircons are euhedral, and a majority of the zircons are weakly zoned, but many also have anhedral, embayed cores, with euhedral overgrowths and multiple internal surfaces that are truncated by later crystal zones. Concentrations of U and Th vary by two orders of magnitude within the zircon population, and by 10-20 times between zones within some zircon crystals, indicating that zircons were transferred between contrasting chemical environments. A zircon saturation temperature of ???750??C overlaps within error a previously reported phenocryst equilibration temperature of 740 ?? 25??C. Textures in zircons indicative of repeated dissolution and subsequent regrowth are probably caused by punctuated heating by mafic magma input into rhyolite. The overall span of ages and large variation in U and Th concentrations, combined with calculated zircon saturation temperatures and resorption times, are most compatible with crystallization in magma bodies that were emplaced piecemeal in the crust at Coso over 200 kyr prior to eruption, and that were periodically rejuvenated or melted by subsequent basaltic injections. ?? Oxford University Press 2004; all rights reserved.