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Xylorhiza tortifolia (Mojave woodyaster)
Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia

Xylorhiza tortifolia

Xylorhiza tortifolia (Torr. & A. Gray) Greene

Mojave Woodyaster, Mojave Aster, Desert Aster

Asteraceae (Aster Family)


USDA Symbol: XYTO2

USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

Several grayish, leafy stems, growing from a woody base, with long leafless ends topped by flower heads with many narrow, pale lavender or pale violet rays surrounding a yellow central disk.

The pastel hue of the rays seems unexpectedly delicate in the plants harsh environment, even appearing vivid in the early light of day. A similar species, Big Bend Aster (X. wrightii), is found in western Texas and nearby Mexico. Desert species with a woody base (Xylorhiza means woody base) have been removed from the large and complex genus Machaeranthera, where they were placed for many decades.


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Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Subshrub

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Purple
Bloom Time: Mar , Apr , May , Jun
Bloom Notes: Ray florets seldom white.


USA: AZ , CA , NV , UT
Native Distribution: Southwestern Utah south to western Arizona and southeastern California.
Native Habitat: Dry, rocky, desert slopes and washes.

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

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

Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

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Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2012-08-19
Research By: TWC Staff

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