Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Sonoran Desert Flora >>> Asteraceae >>> Gutierrezia sarothrae

Broom Snakeweed

Gutierrezia sarothrae

Photo © by Michael Plagens

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

Photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed along the Revis Ranch Trail, Superstition Mountains, Arizona. Oct. 14, 2013.

SHRUB: Low to medium sized shrub - about 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. There are several ray flowers and several disc flowers.

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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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 8 Oct. 2010,
updated 14 Oct. 2013