Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Chrysactinia mexicana, Damianita

Chrysactinia mexicana, Damianita, Southwest Desert Flora Chrysactinia mexicana, Damianita, Southwest Desert Flora Chrysactinia mexicana, Damianita, Southwest Desert Flora    Chrysactinia mexicana, Damianita, Southwest Desert Flora

Scientific Name: Chrysactinia mexicana
Common Name: Damianita
Also Called: Calanca, False Damiana, Garanona, Hierba de San Nicolas, Mariola, Romerillo, San Nicolas, and Yeyepaxtle Hierba de San Nicolas, False Damiana, Mariola, Romerillo, Garanona, San Nicolas, Calanca, Yeyepaxtle
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Status: Native
Synonyms: ( )
Duration: Perennial
Size: 1 to 2 feet or more.
Growth Form: Shrub or subshrub; dense twiggy, very bushy with a woody base, rounded in form, stays green all year.
Leaves: Green, or dark green; many very small leaves, less than 1 inch, glandular and aromatic.
Flower Color: Yellow or golden yellow; the leafy foliage apparent throughout the plant is absent on the erect flowering stem (peduncle); the flower heads all small, less than an inch in size, both ray and disk florets, ray flowers slender, typically 8 per head (6 to 12), disk flowers 20 or more; fruit is an achene.
Flowering Season: Spring, summer and fall.
Elevation: 600 to 7,000 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Desert plains and mountains of NM and TX, mostly rocky limestone and caliche but also in sandy soils.
Recorded Range: Chrysactinia mexicana is a rare species in the United States, with distribution limited to NM and TX. It is also found in northwest Mexico.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Chrysactinia mexicana.

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: 1 species in southwest United States. Chrysactinia mexicana is not native to Arizona.

Comments: Chrisactinia mexicana or Damianita as it is commonly called in the United States is limited in distribution to rocky limestone and caliche locations in both New Mexico and Texas. It is often used as a landscape specimen in the Phoenix and Tucson area because of it adaptations to our arid conditions. You can usually see Damianita on display at the Arizona Desert Botanical Gardens in east Phoenix, Arizona.

Date Profile Completed: 8/10/2014; Updated, 07/25/2015
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013).
Published on the Internet [accessed 8/10/2014]. Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
John L. Strother, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 21 | Asteraceae | Chrysactinia, FNA Vol. 21 Page 232, 233, Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. (accessed 8/10/2014)
Common names and general information: (accessed 8/10/2014)
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names and recorded geographic locations,