Orcutt's Woody Aster
(Xylorhiza orcuttii )
Photo Copyright James T. Vale and CNPS
Description: Perennial herb with a woody base. Many stems without hairs, 1.3 - 3 feet (4-9dm) high. Leaves oblanceolate to oblong, or lanceolate (spear shaped), 3/4 - 2 inches (2-5cm) long, and attached to stem at base. Leaves leathery, with tiny, spiny-toothed edges, or smooth. Flower heads at the end of a stalk Involucre (group of bracts immediately below the flower) 5/8 - 6/8 inches (15-20mm) high. Phyllaries (individual bracts) in about 6 rows, the outer ones shorter than the inner ones. Ray flowers 30-45, lavender or purple, about 3/4 inch (2cm) long. Disk flowers 55-140, and yellow. Fruit is an achene (small, dry, hard) with tomentum (short, densely matted, soft white wool) 1/8 inch (3-4mm) long.
Habitat: Arid canyons, Sonoran desert scrub, 64 - 960 feet (20-300 meters) elevation.
Flowering Period: Blooms March - April
Status: BLM Sensitive, California Native Plant Society List 1B