Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Bahiopsis parishii, Parish Goldeneye

Parish Goldeneye has yellow flowers, as noted in the photo, they have both ray and disk florets. Between 8 and 18 ray florets and about 50 discoid florets. Bahiopsis parishii Parish Goldeneye has distinctive bracts or phyllaries around the floral head. These phyllaries are lance-linear either equal or very unequal in length. Bahiopsis parishii Parish Goldeneye has shiny dark green leaves. Leaf blades are triangular or deltate. Note the leaves have short stems or petioles. Leaf edges or margins are toothed or smooth. Leaves are rough or harsh to the touch. Bahiopsis parishii Parish Goldeneye leaves are opposite on the lower (proximal) parts and alternate on the distal or upper parts. Leaves in the photo are arranged alternately along the stem. Bahiopsis parishii Parish Goldeneye has large yellow flowers on long, 6-inch (15 cm) flowering stalks or peduncles. Flowers may be solitary or in cyme-like clusters of 3 to 5 flowers. Bahiopsis parishii Parish Goldeneye blooms from January through October, two blooming seasons, spring and fall. Plants may be found in elevations up to 3,500 (1,000 m) or higher and prefer dry desert areas particularly associated with Creosote Bush plant communities. Bahiopsis parishii Unknown

Scientific Name: Bahiopsis parishii
Common Name: Parish Goldeneye

Also Called: Parish's Goldeneye, Nevada Goldeneye, Parish's Scrub-Aster, Shrubby Goldeneye

Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family

Synonyms: (Viguiera deltoidea var. parishii, Viguiera parishii)

Status: Native

Duration: Perennial

Size: 2 to 3 feet (60-91 cm) or more (4 feet 120 cm)

Growth Form: Shrub or subshrub; erect, multiple branches, stems slender and rough or harsh to the touch (hispid); plants messy (straggly).

Leaves: Green; shiny, lower leaves (proximal) mostly opposite although upper leaves (distal) sometimes alternate; leaf blades triangular or deltate or deltate-ovate; leaves with stems or stalks (petioles); leaf edges or margins toothed or smooth (entire); leaves are rough or harsh (hispid) to the touch.

Flower Color: Yellow; large, 2 inch (5 cm) flowers, flowering stalks or peduncles long, up to 6 inches (15 cm) or so; flowers may be singles (solitary) or in cyme-like clusters of 3 to 5; flowers with both ray (8 to 18, yellow) and disk (50+, yellow) florets; bract or phyllaries surrounding heads are distinctive, lance-linear and either equal or very unequal in length; fruit is a cypsela.

Flowering Season: January or February to June and September to October, two blooming seasons, spring and fall.

Elevation: Up to 3,500 feet (1,000 m) or more (5,000 ft (1,500 m))

Habitat Preferences: Deserts in washes, dry mesas, rocky slopes with good drainage; generally a plant of desert regions and often this species is associated with creosote bush communities.

Recorded Range: Southwest United States; AZ, CA, NV, NM, TX; Baja California and northwest Mexico (Sonora). It is found in the southeast corners of both California and Nevada and the western ⅔ of Arizona and generally in the southwest portions of New Mexico and Texas.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Bahiopsis parishii. (as Viguiera parishii)

North America species range map for Bahiopsis parishii:
North American range map courtesy of Virginia Tech, Dept. of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation

North America species range map for Bahiopsis parishii: Click image for full size map
Click image for full size map

U.S. Weed Information: Unknown
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: Unknown
Wetland Indicator: Unknown
Threatened/Endangered Information: Unknown

Genus Information: In North America, the USDA Plants Database does not yet recognize the genus Bahiopsis which is synonymous with Viguiera. They do however list 9 species and 9 accepted taxa overall for the genus Viguiera. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 10 accepted species names and a further 2 scientific names of infraspecific rank for the genus Bahiopsis.

The genus Bahiopsis was published by Albert Kellogg in 1863.
The genus Viguiera was published by Karl Sigismund Kunth in 1820.

For the genus Viguiera which is synonymous with Bahiopsis; in the Southwestern United States Arizona has 4 species of the genus Viguiera, California has 3 species, Nevada has 2 species, New Mexico and Texas each have 4 species and Utah has 0 species. All data approximate and subject to revision.

Comments: Parish Goldeneye is one of the more common subshrubs in low desert habitats in Arizona and southeast California. It is easily recognized with its bright yellow flowers, shiny green triangular shaped leaves and whitish (canescent) stems. Parish Goldeneye is often seen growing in and around larger desert shrubs or trees.

In Texas, Parish Goldeneye is sometime used for re-vegetation, bank stabilization, and erosion control.

Parish Goldeneye is closely related to, and looks very similar to, Bahiopsis deltoidea and is sometimes considered a variety of that species.

Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
Seeds of Bahiopsis parishii may likely be eaten by birds and small mammals.

Special Value to Native Bees, Butterflies and Insects
Daisy type flowers such as Parish Goldeneye may be visited by butterflies, bees and other small insects.

The genus Bahiopsis (Bahiop'sis:) (Ba'hia: and -ops/-opsis:) means a resemblance, in this case to the genus Bahia which was named in honor of Juan Francisco de Bahí y Fonseca (1775-1841), Barcelona botany professor and physician, Director of the Botanical Garden in Barcelona.
The genus Viguiera (Viguier'a:) was named after Louis Guillaume Alexandre Viguier (1790-1867), a French physician and botanist.

The genus Bahiopsis was published by Albert Kellogg in 1863.

The genus Viguiera was published by Karl Sigismund Kunth in 1820.

The species epithet "parishii" (par'ishii:) is named after brothers Samuel Bonsall Parish (1838-1928) and William Fletcher Parish (1840-1918), both were botanical collectors who lived on a ranch in San Bernardino, California and made extensive exploring trips through the mountains and deserts.


Date Profile Completed: 8/3/2012; updated 05/20/2020
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, as Viguiera deltoidea
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 05/19/2020) for Viguier
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 05/19/2020).
David J. Keil 2012, Bahiopsis parishii, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=82217, accessed on May 19, 2020.
Edward E. Schilling, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 21 | Asteraceae | Bahiopsis; 2. Bahiopsis parishii (Greene) E. E. Schilling & Panero, Bot. J. Linn. Soc. 140: 72. 2002., Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford.
Wikipedia contributors, 'Bahiopsis parishii', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 22 March 2018, 05:12 UTC, [accessed 20 May 2020]
FNA 2006, Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969; Editor; S.Buckley, 2010 from SEINet Field Guide, on-line; (accessed 05/19/2020).
Virginia Tech Dendrology; Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation
SEINet synonyms, scientific names, geographic locations, general information.
Native Plant Information Network, NPIN (2013). Published on the Internet (accessed 05/20/2020). Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas, Austin, TX.
Etymology:Michael L. Charters California Plant Names: Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations; A Dictionary of Botanical and Biographical Etymology - (accessed 05/20/2020)