Broom Snakeweed

Gutierrezia sarothrae

Photo © by Michael Plagens

Cave Creek , Maricopa Co., Arizona. 30 Sept. 2008.

SHRUB: Low to medium sized shrub - < ½ meter tall. Stems are thin and flexible with woody portions restricted to base. Smaller stems green and photosynthetic.

FLOWERS: Bright yellow flowers and numerous small heads which begin blooming in the fall after the equinox. The heads consist of several ray florets and several disc florets.

LEAVES: Leaves are narrowly linear - almost thread-like in some specimens. After extended drought can become leafless with green stems.

RANGE: More likely to be found at the upper elevations in the Sonoran Desert. Abundance is often related to the intensity of cattle grazing. Cattle leave this plant alone and so it becomes abundant on range with excessive grazing pressure. Also found on rangelands in the Mohave, Chihuahuan and Great Basin Desert areas.


FRUIT: The seeds usually have some dry scales at top end.

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 10 Oct. 2008,
updated 23 Nov. 2017.