Sonoran Desert Asters - Flowers Yellow

Annuals, perennials and shrubs with flowers in heads that may have yellow ray and/or disc flowers. Usually insect pollinated and mostly not a source of hay fever.

Brittle Bush

Encelia farinosa

Spiny Happlopappus

Machaeranthera pinnatifida

Common to abundant shrub on rocky bajadas, roadsides and wash banks. Also a very popular component of xeriscapes. Very showy yellow flowers appear by mid spring. Can also bloom late summer and fall. Silvery-green leaves. Mostly about 1 meter tall. Detailed Description

Watercolor © by Michael Plagens

Mostly herbaceous perennial. Common at upper elevations in Sonoran Desert scrub as well as chaparral and grassland. Highly variable in size of flowers and degree of spinyness. Prominent yellow disc and many fine rays. Detailed Description

Desert Marigold

Baileya multiradiata

Sand Wash Groundsel

Senecio flaccidus

All yellow daisy flowers are large and showy. Leaves fuzzy pubescent. Common in Sonoran Desert washes and along roadsides. Xeriscape gardens. Detailed Description

Yellow daisy flowers with narrow rays. Conspicuous, numerous white bristles on mature seed heads. Medium sized shrub of washes and roadsides. Detailed Description

Lemmon's Ragwort

Senecio lemmonii

Trans-Pecos Thimblehead

Hymenothrix wislizeni

Mostly herbaceous perennial of rocky slopes, Yellow rays and yellow disc florets. Seeds with fine white bristles. Tips of phyllaries dark. Detailed Description

Numerous bright yellow heads on tall slender herbs appearing after summer rains. Leaves divided into some two dozen linear segments. Detailed Description


Viguiera deltoidea

Paper Flower

Psilostrophe cooperi

A fairly common shrub on rocky bajadas and wash banks. Flowers similar to Brittle Bush and appear at same time of year, but tend more to orange-yellow. Triangular to heart-shaped leaves are harshly gritty in texture and are darker green. Mostly about 1 meter tall. Detailed Description

Mostly herbaceous perennial with a woody crown. Leaves are linear and flower rays are bright lemon yellow. Blooms mid to late spring. After blooming the ray flowers remain attached to the heads, bleach almost white, and become papery. Common along eastern bounds of the Sonoran Desert. Detailed Description


Acamptopappus spherocephalus


Trixis californica

This shrub is fairly common in north and west portions of the Sonoran Desert blooming in spring. Flowers have bright yellow disc flowers, but no ray flowers. Nearly linear leaves and stems dark green. Mostly about 1 meter tall. Detailed Description

Common late spring bloomer with bright yellow flowers. Almost always growing in shade of desert trees on wash banks and rocky slopes. Leaves are dark green and remain verdant looking well into drought. Flower heads are tall and narrow. Mostly herbaceous perennial with a woody crown. Detailed Description

Silver Puffs

Microseris linearifolia

San Felipe Marigold

Adenophyllum porophylloides

Spring annual with yellow dandelion-like head on a tall stem followed by a head of silvery scales. Common upland Sonoran Desert habitat on rocky slopes/wash banks. Detailed Description

Flower head tall with maroon and orange disc flowers. Fairly common on wash banks and rocky slopes blooming in mid to late spring. Pinnately dissected leaves. Intense terpene odor when crushed.  Detailed Description

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2016