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Search for native plants by scientific name, common name or family. If you are not sure what you are looking for, try the Combination Search or our Recommended Species lists.

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Thelesperma simplicifolium (Slender greenthread)
Richardson, Charmaine

Thelesperma simplicifolium

Thelesperma simplicifolium A. Gray

Slender Greenthread, Navajo Tea, Cota

Asteraceae (Aster Family)



USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Thelesperma simplicifolium grows to 20 inches tall and has many loosely branched stems. Leaves are opposite, 1-3 inches long. The lower leaves have 3-5 narrow segments, but those above have fewer. Flower heads are generally similar to those of T. flavodiscum, with 6-9 yellow ray flowers and yellowish-brown disc flowers.


From the Image Gallery

28 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

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

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep


Native Habitat: Abundant on open and well-drained sand, loam, clay, caliche, especially in the limestone uplands. Throughout Texas and west into New Mexico.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Conditions Comments: Navajo Tea is best used as a grouping in a wildflower meadow. It forms colonies by spreading rhizomes. The bright golden flowers provide nectar to butterflies and sparce foliage give the plant an airy feel.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Fragrant Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Attracts: Birds
Nectar Source: yes
Deer Resistant: High

Mr. Smarty Plants says

Edible Native Plants for a Small Austin Garden
March 15, 2010
Hello Mr. Smarty Plants (or Mrs. or Miss, whomever is answering this go'round)! First off, thank you so much for all the help you have given me in the past. Secondly, the company my husband works ...
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From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Fredericksburg Nature Center - Fredericksburg, TX
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center - Austin, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0234 Collected June 3, 1992 in Comal County by Mary Beth White
NPSOT 0677 Collected July 18, 1992 in Bandera County by Harry Cliffe

2 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-GV-3 Collected 2005-06-04 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

1 collection(s) available in the Wildflower Center Seed Bank


Bibref 281 - Shinners & Mahler's Illustrated Flora of North Central Texas (1999) Diggs, G. M.; B. L. Lipscomb; B. O'Kennon; W. F...
Bibref 248 - Texas Wildflowers: A Field Guide (1984) Loughmiller, C. & L. Loughmiller
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Additional resources

USDA: Find Thelesperma simplicifolium in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Thelesperma simplicifolium in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Thelesperma simplicifolium


Record Modified: 2018-12-03
Research By: LAL, JMS

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