Sonoran Desert Naturalist >>> Field Guide >>> Sonoran Desert Flora >>> Asteraceae >>> Pluchea sericea

Arrow Weed

Pluchea sericea

Pen & Ink Illustration © by Michael J. Plagens

Photo © by Michael Plagens

Photographed along the Agua Fria River in Maricopa Co., Arizona. 25 Oct. 2007. Notice the long straight stems which were once used to make arrow shafts. This photo and the one at right are hosted at the Wikimedia Project where there are many more images of Pluchea.

RANGE: Common along margins of major rivers that run through the Sonoran Desert. Partial to soil that is damp and partially saline where it often forms impenetrable thickets. Ranges across the southwestern United States from California to Texas hence through tropical America.

LEAVES: Silky, elyptic leaves just a few cm long are alternate on the stems and are mildly ill-scented (much less so than Pluchea odorata).

SHRUB: Large shrub with long straight stems reaching well over 3 m in height.

FLOWERS: The compound flowers lack rays. The flowers as well as the phyllaries are purple to pink in color. Blooming mostly late spring to mid summer.

ACHENE: Seeds are borne in heads and they have a pappus of numerous fine bristles.

UNARMED. No thorns.

photo by Wikimedia Project user StanShebs

Photo of Pluchea sericea (arrow weed) near Thousand Palms Oasis in Coachella Valley, California, taken in March 2005 by Wikimedia Project User:Stan Shebs

Asteraceae -- Sunflower Family

Sponsored Links:

More Information:


Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009