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Alkali Goldenbush

Isocoma acradenia

Pen & Ink © by Michael Plagens

Drawn from live specimen. An achene and composite flower head are show enlarged at right.  The insect is a predaceous Reduviidae bug.

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RANGE: Most common in northern and northwest portions of the Sonoran Desert and hence into California esp, on calcareous/alkaline soils.

LEAVES: Oblong or spatulate leaves are narrow but widen towards tip.

SEEDS: The achene seeds have a series of fine bristles.
SHRUB: A weakly woody perennial subshrub mostly about a meter + tall.

FLOWERS: The tubular disc flowers are yellow, but there are no ray flowers.  The phyllaries (leafy bracts surrounding flower heads) have the tips conspicuously darker green. Blooming in late summer to mid autumn. Resembles goldenrod of higher/wetter elevations.  Highly attractive to insects. 


Photo by Mike Plagens hosted at Wikipedia where you can also find more images of composites.

Asteraceae -- Sunflower Family

More Info:

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


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009