Mesa Tansey-Aster

Machaeranthera tagetina

Machaeranthera tagetina photo © by Michael Plagens

Saguaro National Park East, Rincon Mountain foothills, Pima Co., Arizona. 28 Aug 2016.

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Machaeranthera tagetina photo © by Michael Plagens

RANGE: This is the common purple aster of summer ranging into grassland and juniper habitats.

FLOWERS: About a dozen dark purple florets and a disc of central yellow florets. Phyllaries in several series enclosing the flower head. Tips are pointed, almost spine-tipped. Numerous gland-tipped hairs.

LEAVES: Upper leaves usually linear whereas the lower leaves may be dissected into a few linear segments.

ANNUAL: Herbaceous plants appearing after summer rains and blooming late summer into fall. Mostly less than 50 cm.

FRUIT: The slightly flattened seeds are topped with a pappus of fine whitish bristles.


Asteraceae -- Sunflower Family

More Information:

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


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 8 Sept. 2016.