Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - The University of Texas at Austin information

 Native Plant Database

Thelesperma filifolium var. filifolium

Stiff greenthread, Showy Navajo tea, Greenthread

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Thelesperma filifolium var. filifolium (Stiff greenthread)
Marcus, Joseph A.
This winter annual, or short-lived perennial, is often found growing in colonies. Its slender, branched stems, 10-30 in. tall, bear leaves divided into thread-like segments. In bud, the flower heads droop; when fully opened, they are erect and upright. The yellow, daisy-like flowers occur on delicate, leafless stalks.

Stiff Greenthreads bloom period is often shortened by an insect larva that consumes the buds.

Image Gallery:

11 photo(s) available

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Class: 1-3 ft.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov , Dec


USA: AR , KS , LA , MS , MO , OK , TX
Native Distribution: S. SD to Mex., including parts of AR, OK & throughout TX
Native Habitat: Dry hills & plains. In East Texas and the Plains Country.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil Description: Dry, rocky or sandy soils. Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam, Clay, Caliche type.
Conditions Comments: The common name greenthread, refers to the thread-like appearance of the foliage. Many butterflies feed on this nectar plant that blooms profusely from April to June.


Use Ornamental: Wildflower meadow, Pocket prairie
Use Wildlife: Nectar-Bees, Nectar-Butterflies, Nectar-insects, Seeds-Granivorous birds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Attracts: Butterflies
Larval Host: Dwarf Yellow butterfly.
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Minimal

Last Update: 2009-02-20