Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Acourtia thurberi, Thurber's Desertpeony

Acourtia thurberi, Thurber's Desertpeony Acourtia thurberi, Thurber's Desertpeony    Acourtia thurberi, Thurber's Desertpeony Acourtia thurberi, Thurber's Desertpeony    Acourtia thurberi, Thurber's Desertpeony

Scientific Name: Acourtia thurberi
Common Name: Thurber's Desertpeony
Also Called: Thurber Perezia, (Spanish: Mata Gusano, Cola de Zorra, Pipichowa)
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Acourtia mexicana and Perezia thurberi)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 5 feet
Growth Form: Forb/herb; erect, multiple branches.
Leaves: Green; dull, sessile, bases clasp stem, ovate, dentate, surface glandular and rough to the touch.
Flower Color: Purple or variable shades of purple, pink or lavender; flower heads in clusters of 3 or more on tips of stems, bracts subtending flower heads oblanceolate in 2 or 3 series; fruit is an achene with a bristly bright white pappus.
Flowering Season: June to October.
Elevation: 4,000 to 6,000 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Rocky hillsides and canyons in southern Arizona.
Recorded Range: Acourtia thurberi is native to the southwestern United States and northwest Mexico. In the United States it is limited in distribution to AZ and NM. In Arizona it is found in much of the southern part of the state and Mohave County. In New Mexico it can be found in the southwestern part of the state.

U.S. Weed Information: No data available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available.
Wetland Indicator: No data available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No data available.

Genus Information: 5 species in Acourtia in southwestern United States. 3 species in Arizona: Acourtia nana, Dwarf Desertpeony; Acourtia thurberi, Thurber’s Desertpeony and Acourtia wrightii, Brownfoot.

Comments: Thurber’s Desertpeony is the largest of three Acourtia species found in Arizona. It may reach up to five feet in height while Brownfoot, Acourtia wrightii grows up to four feet. The smallest of the three, the diminutive Dwarf Desertpeony, Acourtia nana, only grows to 6 or 10 inches high.

In Arizona, Thurber’s Desertpeony may be found in groups of several plants or in small numbers of one or more.

Date Profile Completed: 9/24/2012; Updated, 07/25/2015
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, as Perezia thurberi.
Beryl B. Simpson, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 19, 20 and 21 | Asteraceae | Acourtia, Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. – Accessed 09/24/12
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names and recorded geographic locations,