Sonoran Desert Asters - Flowers White

Annuals, perennials and shrubs with flowers in heads that may have white disc and/or ray flowers. Some flowering heads may appear yellow due to abundance of pollen. Some species have male and female flowers in separate heads or even on separate plants. Usually insect pollinated and mostly not a source of hay fever.

Desert Broom

Baccharis sarathroides

Seep Baccharis

Baccharis salicifolia

Medium to large shrub found in washes, at roadsides and in urban/agricultural settings. Common to abundant. Flowers in October followed by an abundance of white fluffy seeds. Stems green and rush like - small linear leaves are deciduous. Separate male and female shrubs. Detailed Description

Pen and Ink by Mike Plagens

Large shrub found along well-watered washes, along riparian streams or at springs. Numerous small heads of white flowers mostly in late summer and fall, but also spring, attract many butterflies and other insects. Detailed Description

Desert Baccharis

Baccharis sergiloides

White Cudweed
White Rabbit-Tobacco


Numerous small white flower heads on an intricately branched shrub normally found in washes. Northwestern portions of the Sonoran Desert. Attract many butterflies and other insects. Detailed Description

Dense clusters of small, pearly-white flower heads. Leaves linear, decurrent and lemon scented. Along riparian streams after summer rains. Detailed Description

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Blackfoot Daisy

Melampodium leucanthum

Desert Zinnia

Zinnia acerosa

Watercolor by Michael Plagens

Perennial, mostly herbaceous clumps with a dozen to many dozen white to lavender daisies. Found mostly at upper elevations of the Sonoran Desert in chaparral or desert grassland ecotones. Blooms in mid spring. Detailed Description

Watercolor Illustration © Mike Plagens

Perennial or low weak shrub with large-flowered, white rays. Most common in southeast quadrant of the Sonoran Desert, especially near Tucson. Blooms in spring. Detailed Description

Emory Rock Daisy

Perityle emoryi

Mojave Desert Star

Monoptilon bellioides

Photo by Michael Plagenss

Perennial, mostly herbaceous, with folliage and leaves appearing mostly in spring. Common on rockys slopes and bajadas. Central disc flowers are yellow.  Detailed Description

Ephemeral spring annual growing nearly prostrate. Likely on desert pavement and flats after wet winter/spring weather. Disc flowers are yellow. Detailed Description

Spanish Needles

Palafoxia arida

An often obscure, ephemeral, spring annual restricted to western Arizona and the Mohave Desert. Disc florets are pale pink to white. Detailed Description

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Sonoran Desert Places


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2016