Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Chaetopappa ericoides, Rose Heath

Chaetopappa ericoides, Rose Heath, Southwest Desert Flora Chaetopappa ericoides, Rose Heath, Southwest Desert Flora    Chaetopappa ericoides, Rose Heath, Southwest Desert Flora Chaetopappa ericoides, Rose Heath, Southwest Desert Flora    Chaetopappa ericoides, Rose Heath, Southwest Desert Flora

Scientific Name: Chaetopappa ericoides
Common Name: Rose Heath
Also Called: Heath-leaved Chaetopappa and Smallflower Aster
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Aster arenosus, Aster ericaefolius, Aster hirtifoliu, Aster leucelen, Inula ericoides, Leucelene ericoides)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial, rhizomes.
Size:Up to 6 inches or more.
Growth Form: Forb/herb, subshrub; erect, caudex, woody, several branches, stems glandular pubescent; bristly hairs, forms clumps by underground rhizomes, stems with overlapping scale-like leaves.
Leaves: Green; small, leaves scant, some leaf blades scaly, either linear, oblanceolate or lanceolate, mid-nerve line prominently visible, bristly-hairy below.
Flower Color: White; small flower heads with yellow disk florets; ray flowers turn pink or purple early afternoon as they turn downward; both ray and disk florets each with 12 and 20 or so florets; fruit is an achene, whitish with small barbed bristles.
Flowering Season: April to October – earlier and later in adjacent states.
Elevation: 3,500 to 7,500 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Upper Sonoran Desert, Juniper to Pinyon-juniper woodland communities, in open dry mesas and dry rocky slopes and hillsides, often in open alkaline areas and along roadsides.
Recorded Range: Chaetopappa ericoides is found in the southwest part of North America in AZ, CA, CO, KS, NE, NM, NV, OK, TX, UT and WY and northern Mexico. In Arizona, this species is found in both the northern and southern parts of the state. It thrives in much larger geographic areas, and in higher elevations than most desert species.

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: After settling taxonomic work within the genus Aster there are 9 species remaining in Chaetopappa, 1 in Arizona.

Comments: As evidenced in the recorded range above, and Flora of North America, this species is "widespread and highly variable in the type and amount of pubescence as well as other features." Perhaps this species has acquired, or is in the process of acquiring more facultative strategies which enable it to expand its geographic area beyond that of the typically more limited obligate desert species.

This plant was made into a poultice or infusion by the Acoma and Laguna Indians of New Mexico and used for swelling and by the Havasupai as a pediatric aid. See the complete species account from Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 8/9/2014; Updated, 07/25/2015
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database – Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS), USDA, NRCS -
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles as Aster arenosus
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 8/9/2014)
Guy L. Nesom, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 20 | Asteraceae | Chaetopappa - FNA Vol. 20 Page 206, 207, 208,, Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. (accessed 8/9/2014)
Wikipedia contributors. "Chaetopappa ericoides." Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 27 Apr. 2013. Web. 9 Aug. 2014.
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names and recorded geographic locations,