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Plant type

Annual herb


7 ft Tall

Palafoxia arida is a species of flowering plant in the aster family known by the common names desert palafox and Spanish needle. It is native to the deserts of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. It is an annual herb producing an erect, branching, glandular stem. There are two varieties, with the larger, Palafoxia arida var. gigantea, reaching two meters in maximum height. The rough-haired leaves are linear or lance-shaped and may exceed 10 centimeters long. The inflorescence is an array of up to 40 flower heads. The cylindrical heads are about 2 to 3 centimeters long, lined with long, pointed phyllaries, and bearing up to 40 pink or white tubular disc florets. The fruit is an achene over a centimeter long including the pappus.


Butterflies and moths supported

0 confirmed and 4 likely

Confirmed Likely

Bordered Patch|Sunflower Patch

Chlosyne lacinia

Spanish Needles Flower Moth

Schinia niveicosta

Gray Hairstreak

Strymon melinus

Southern Emerald

Synchlora frondaria