Turpentine Bush

Ericameria laricifolia

Ericameria laricifolia photo © by Michael Plagens Flowers and seed heads of Turpentine Bush, Ericameria laricifolia photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed at Bulldog Canyon, Goldfield Mountains, Maricopa Co., Arizona. 11 Oct. 2008. (above)

enlarged bud of Ericameria laricifolia with moth larva inside in Sonoran Desert photo © by Mike Plagens

Galls caused by the feeding of a small moth larva can resemble small conifer cones! The bud has been hollowed out by a feeding caterpillar and will not develop. Read more about this insect.

SHRUB: Medium-sized shrub mostly about one meter in diameter.

LEAVES: Dark green resinous leaves are needle-like - fleshy and more-or-less cylindrical. Shrubs may resemble a small conifer and indeed emit piney, resinous odor on being crushed.

FLOWERS: Bright yellow flowers in smallish heads contrast nicely with the dark green foliage; rays and disc flowers yellow. Rays sometimes few and short. Blooms late in summer into autumn.

RANGE: Frequent at higher elevations of the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Mexico at roadsides, on bajadas and high on wash banks. Ranges also from California to Texas.

FRUIT: Achenes are topped with a pappus of fine, tan bristles.

UNARMED. Thornless.

Asteraceae -- Sunflower Family

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More Information:

Sonoran Desert Field Guide
Sonoran Desert Places
Sonoran Desert Naturalist Home Page


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 15 January 2009,
updated 15 June 2015.