Slender Poreleaf

Porophyllum gracile

Porophyllum gracile photo © by Michael Plagens

Rocky slope along Black Canyon s. of Bumblebee, Yavapai Co., Arizona. Sept. 2008.

Signal Mountain, Maricopa Co., Arizona. 5 March 2017.

A number of insects feed on and in this plant. Look for swellings in the plant stems caused my minute flies called Gall Midges. Cut the frest galls open to find the small orange larvae responsible.

Odora Gall Midge

Asphondylia sp.

a stem gall induced by Asphondylia midge © by Mike Plagens

LEAVES: The slightest brush against this plant will permeate the air with curious aroma - pleasant or quite unpleasant depending on the observer. Leaves are linear and grass like. They are smooth and shiny. Under magnification (10x loop) the translucent oil glands can be seen easily.

PERENNIAL: Mostly herbaceous perennial with thin wispy stems less than one meter tall. Regrows season after season from lower woody stems and crown.

RANGE: Frequent throughout the Sonoran Desert in Arizona and Mexico at roadsides, on rocky slopes and along wash banks.

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

FLOWERS: The single series of phyllaries of the flower head are tall and narrowly enclose the two dozen or so disc flowers. The flower heads do not open wide and the florets soon fade from white, purple or pink to brownish and are not showy. The glands on the phyllaries are conspicuous. Flowers in spring and then again after the summer rains.


Porophyllum gracile photo © by Michael Plagens

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 23 Oct. 2008,
updated 26 Nov. 2017.