Acourtia wrightii, Brownfoot
Scientific Name: Acourtia wrightii
Common Name: Brownfoot
Also Called: Pink Perezia, Wright’s Desertpeony
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Perezia wrightii, Perezia arizonica)
Size: 2 feet or more (4 feet).
Growth Form: Forb/herb; erect, multiple stems, leaves turn brown at base or "foot" of plant thus the common name "Brownfoot".
Leaves: Green; alternate, sessile; shape variable, oblong-lanceolate to elliptic-oblong, 1 to 5 inches long; bases sagittate or clasping; margins wavy, dentate spine-tipped.
Flower Color: Pink, purple, lavender or white; flower heads fragrant, clustered in dense corymb-like panicles; phyllaries in 2 to 3 series; linear to lanceolate; margins ciliate, tips obtuse to acute; florets bisexual, 8 to 12 florets per head (in contrast to A. thurberi which has 3 to 6 florets per head); corollas bilabiate with 2 lobes on one side and 3 lobes on the other side; fruit an achene with fluffy white array of bristles or pappus.
Flowering Season: June to November or later.
Elevation: 1,200 to Up to 5,000 feet or higher.
Habitat Preferences: Upper and lower deserts, foothills, rocky hillsides, canyons; gravel, caliche or sandy loamy soils.
Recorded Range: Brownfoot is found in the southwestern United States in NM, NV, TX, UT. It is also native to northern and central Mexico in (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Sonora, Zacatecas).
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.
North America & US County Distribution Map for Acourtia wrightii.
Genus Information: In North America there are 5 species and 5 accepted taxa overall for Acourtia. World wide, The Plant List includes 84 accepted species names and includes a further 30 of infraspecific rank for the genus.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona, New Mexico and Texas each have 3 species of Acourtia, California, Nevada and Utah each have 1 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.
Comments: The common name, Brownfoot is because of the brown color of leaves and dense hairs at the foot of the plant. Although native in both the Sonoran and Chihuahuan deserts, Brownfoot is a more eastern distributed Chihuahuan Desert species.
The very similar looking Thurber Desert Holly, Acourtia thurberi, differs from Brownfoot with having only 3 to 6 flowers per head, while Brownfoot has 8 or more. A third Acourtia species native to Arizona, the smallest of the three, Dwarf Desertpeony, Acourtia nana, grows to 6 or 10 inches high.
The specific epithet, wrightii is named to honor Charles Wright (October 29, 1811 – August 11, 1885), an American (Connecticut) and world-wide botanist working primarily in Texas, Cuba and Connecticut.
See complete listing of ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.