Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Pluchea sericea, Arrowweed

Pluchea sericea, Arrowweed, Southwest Desert Flora Pluchea sericea, Arrowweed, Southwest Desert Flora   Pluchea sericea, Arrowweed, Southwest Desert FloraPluchea sericea, Arrowweed, Southwest Desert Flora    Pluchea sericea, Arrowweed, Southwest Desert Flora

Scientific Name: Pluchea sericea
Common Name: Arrowweed
Also called: Marsh-fleabane (Spanish: Cachanilla, Cachinilla)
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Berthelotia sericea, Polypappus sericeus and Tessaria sericea)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial, rhizomatous.
Size: Up to 12 feet or more.
Growth Form: Shrub; erect, woody, multiple stems; straight, silvery silky pubescence.
Leaves: Grayish-green; alternate; sessile; linear to lanceolate; numerous, entire, evergreen.
Flower Color: Pink to deep rose; disk flowers only; flower heads in clusters at ends of stems, fruit is an achene.
Flowering Season: January to June or longer.
Elevation: Sea level to 3,000 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Moist saline desert areas, along stream banks, rivers, springs and seeps.

Recorded Range: Pluchea sericea is limited in distribution to the southwest United States in AZ, CA, NM, NV, TX, and UT. Also in northern Baja California and northern Mexico. It occurs throughout Arizona.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Pluchea sericea.

U.S. Weed Information: No data available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available.
Wetland Indicator: Pluchea sericea is listed on the USDA 2012 National Wetland Plant List.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No data available.

Genus Information: 11 species in Pluchea in the southern half and eastern United States. 2 species native to Arizona.

Comments: Arrowweed, which has a distinctive odor, grows in extremely dense thickets along streams and riparian areas. It has distinct camphor like odor.

Ethno-Herbalist: Southern California Ethnobotany; Ethnobotany of Southern California Native Plants: Arrowweed, Pluchea sericea.

Arrowweed has several documented ethnic botanical uses. The leaves were chewed or boiled for throat irritations and an infusion of the root bark was used as a wash for the face and sore eyes. See full species account from Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 7/1/2012; Updated, 07/26/2015, updated 11/21/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database - Integrated Taxonomic Information System, ITIS, Wed Aug 1 2012 07:33:56 MDT,
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles
The Jepson Manual, Citation: Wed Aug 1 18:34:29 2012
Guy L. Nesom, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 19, 20 and 21 | Asteraceae | Pluchea, Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. (accessed 07/01/2012)
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names and recorded geographic locations,