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Marcus, Joseph A.
Thelesperma filifolium var. filifolium (Hook.) Gray
Stiff greenthread, Showy Navajo tea, Greenthread
USDA Symbol: thfif
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
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.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Annual Habit: Herb Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov , Dec
AR , KS , LA , MO , MS , 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. USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater 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.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Wildflower meadow, Pocket prairie
Use Wildlife: Nectar-Bees, Nectar-Butterflies, Nectar-insects, Seeds-Granivorous birds.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Larval Host: Dwarf Yellow butterfly.
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: Minimal
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0819
Collected Mar 12, 1994 in Bexar County by Harry Cliffe
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Record Modified: 2009-02-20
Research By: LAL, LAS