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Palafoxia callosa (Small palafox)
Cressler, Alan

Palafoxia callosa

Palafoxia callosa (Nutt.) Torr. & A. Gray

Small Palafox, Small Palafoxia

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Othake callosa, Palafoxia callosa var. bella, Polypteris callosa

USDA Symbol: paca3

USDA Native Status: L48 (N), HI (I)

Glandular stems reaching 20 to 60 cm tall, producing linear leaf blades w/ glandular-based hairs. Brownish to reddish purple anthers stand out against lavendar petals. Small Palafox is an upright annual with solitary flowers on slender stalks from sticky-hairy stems. Ray flowers are absent. Disc flowers are pink or purple. Leaves become bract-like in the flowering portion of the stem.

The flowers attract butterflies.

This genus is named after José de Palafox y Melzi, Duke of Saragossa (1776–1847), a Spanish captain-general, in the war against the invading armies of Napoleon.


From the Image Gallery

16 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual
Habit: Herb
Size Notes: Up to about 2 feet tall.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Pink , Purple
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
Bloom Notes: Has no ray flowers.


USA: AR , HI , LA , MO , MS , OK , TX
Native Distribution: From Texas to Oklahoma, east to Missouri & south to Arkansas.
Native Habitat: Limestone glades; bald knobs; open, sandy areas; gravelly stream edges.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Heat Tolerant: yes
Conditions Comments: Small palafoxia provides an airy accent to the fall prairie garden. Best grown in full sun and dry, gravelly soils to avoid rotting plant. Great reseeding annual for the xeric flower garden.


Use Ornamental: Small palafoxia provides an airy accent to the fall prairie garden.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes
Nectar Source: yes


Propagation Material: Seeds
Seed Collection: Collect seed in October, November. Plant in December or January.

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
Brackenridge Field Laboratory - Austin, TX
Nueces River Authority - Uvalde, TX

Herbarium Specimen(s)

NPSOT 0296 Collected July 26, 1991 in Bexar County by Judith C. Berry
NPSOT 0102 Collected Nov 10. 1990 in Bexar County by Lottie Millsaps
NPSOT 0038 Collected Oct.3, 1990 in Bexar County by Judith C. Berry
NPSOT 0262 Collected Aug. 19, 1992 in Comal County by Mary Beth White

4 specimen(s) available in the Digital Herbarium

Wildflower Center Seed Bank

LBJWC-MM-708 Collected 2009-11-16 in Travis County by Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center

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


Bibref 328 - Wildflowers of Texas (2003) Ajilvsgi, Geyata.
Bibref 286 - Wildflowers of the Texas Hill Country (1989) Enquist, M.

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

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


Record Modified: 2022-12-30
Research By: WFS, RSB

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