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Trixis californica

Pen & Ink Illustration © by Michael J. Plagens

Sketched from live specimen

FLOWERS: Heads are tall and cylindrical with one tier of phyllaries and few additional bracts surrounding. The yellow florets are unusual in that each are two-lipped - and one lip is enlarged and can appear to be a 'ray flower'. Blooming mid to late spring when large panicles of yellow flowers are quite showy.

SHRUB: Lower portions and crown woody. Remains green and leafy well into hot season. Mostly plants are well under a half meter tall.

LEAVES: Lance shaped leaves are dark green, abundant and have nearly smooth margins that begin to curl under as the plant desiccates.

FRUIT: A slender, ribbed, dark achene topped with a crown of bristles.

RANGE: A common plant in the Sonoran Desert found on wash banks and rocky slopes mostly in the shade of desert trees. Also found in the Mojave Desert.


Asteraceae -- Sunflower Family

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A particularly attractive specimen of Trixis was found at Mesquite Wash is posted on Flickr.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009