Xylorhiza tortifolia, Mojave Woodyaster
Scientific Name: Xylorhiza tortifolia
Common Name: Mojave Woodyaster
Also Called: Imberis Woodyaster, Mohave Aster, Mojave Aster, Parashant Woodyaster
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Aster abatus, Haplopappus tortifolius, Machaeranthera tortifolia)
Size: Up to 2 feet or so.
Growth Form: Forb/herb, subshrub; plants with multiple branches from woody base (caudex); long stems with non-glandular hairs and shorter stalked glands.
Leaves: Green; leaves up to 4 inches long; leaves soft hairy, with glandular hair, spiny-toothed; leaf shape variable from lanceolate, oblanceolate, or elliptic.
Flower Color: Lavender, pale lavender, pale violet, blue or whitish-blue; flowers radiate with both ray and disk florets; large showy flowers on long stems (peduncle) up to 8 inches; phyllaries are hairy and glandular; fruit an achene.
Flowering Season: March to May and again in October following sufficient monsoon rainfall.
Elevation: 2,000 to 3,500 feet; 700 to 6,500 feet in California.
Habitat Preferences: Dry rocky slopes, canyons and mesas.
Recorded Range: Xylorhiza tortifolia is found in the southwestern United States in AZ, CA, NV, UT. In Arizona it is found in the western ⅔ of the state, in Navajo County and with few or no records in Gila and Maricopa counties.
North America & US County Distribution Map for Xylorhiza tortifolia.
U.S. Weed Information: No information available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No information available.
Wetland Indicator: No information available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No information available.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 1 species of Xylorhiza, California has 3 species, Nevada has 1 species, New Mexico has 0 species, Texas has 1 species, Utah has 5 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.
There are 3 varieties in Xylorhiza tortifolia;
Xylorhiza tortifolia var. imberbis, Imberis Woodyaster (AZ, NV, UT);
Xylorhiza tortifolia var. parashantensis, Parashant Woodyaster (AZ);
Xylorhiza tortifolia var. tortifolia, Mojave Woodyaster (AZ, CA, NV, UT).
Comments: Xylorhiza tortifolia is a member of Asteraceae family that has moved over the years from one genus to another (Aster, Haplopappus, Machaeranthera, Xylorhiza).
Xylorhiza tortifolia has been used as a fragrance by North American indigenous peoples.
Havasupai Other, Incense & Fragrance, Ground leaves carried in the clothes and used as perfume by men and women to counteract body odors.
See ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.