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.

Turpentine Bush

Ericameria laricifolia

Broom Snake Weed

Gutierrezia sarothrae

Medium shrub of upper elevations of the Sonoran Desert. Pine like leaves resinous. Bright yellow flowers late summer to fall. Detailed Description

Fall-blooming shrub of rangelands in the upper elevations of the Sonoran Desert. Flower heads small, numerous and with bright yellow flowers. Stems and leaves broom-like. Detailed Description


Peucephyllum schottii

Annual Goldeneye
Long-leaf False-Goldeneye

Heliomeris longifolia
Viguiera annua

Dark green fir-like leaves on medium or large shrub. Yellow discoid flower heads. Western Sonoran and Mojave Deserts. Detailed Description

Summer annual with opposite, linear, leathery leaves. Found mostly at the highest Sonoran Desert elvations or near riparian habitat. Detailed Description

Silver Wormwood

Artemisia ludoviciana


Heterotheca subaxillaris

Summer perennial on rocky slopes and in canyons with silvery foliage and small yellow heads. Detailed Description

Summer annual with tall, widely branching, course stems. Leaves with strong camphor-like odor. Grows at roadsides and along washes. Detailed Description


Isocoma tenuisecta

Malta Star Thistle

Centaurea melitensis

Goldenrod-like shrub with narrowly dissected, non-resinous leaves. Upland Sonoran Desert from Tucson area and south in disturbed soils and near washes. Detailed Description

Spring annual with spikey yellow florets surrounded by sharp spines on the bracts. Spines are 10 mm or less long. Invasive weed along washes and riparian habitats. Detailed Description

Sow Thistle

Sonchus oleraceus

Prickly Sow Thistle

Sonchus asper

Spring annual weed mostly of urban setting but also in riparian habitat. Yellow dandelion flowers at top of tall branching inflorescence. Detailed Description

Dandelion-like weed with usu. sharp prickles along margins of leaves. Seed with plume of fine bristles. Detailed Description

Common Groundsel

Senecio vulgaris

Pineapple Weed

Matricaria discoidea

In the Sonoran Desert a spring weed of yards and farms. Yellow-tipped heads without rays; Black tips of bracts around heads. Detailed Description

Photo © by Michael Plagens

Diminutive spring annual with very small, green yellow-heads without rays. Leaves finely dissected, aromatic when crushed. Moist spots in wetter years. Detailed Description


Oncosiphon piluliferum


Pectis papposa

Photo © by Michael Plagens

The bi-pinnatifid leaves, soft and fern-like, emit noxious odor when crushed. Invasive weed grows in spring. Detailed Description

Photo © by Michael Plagens

This annual of late summer and fall arises after the summer rains. Forms bright yellow clumps 10 to 30 cm in diameter. Detailed Description

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2020.