Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Eriophyllum lanosum, White Woolly Daisy

White Woolly Daisy is a tiny whitish-woolly plant that may be erect or lying along the ground with the stems curving up. This species blooms from February to May across its geographic range. Eriophyllum lanosum White Woolly Daisy or White Easterbonnets may have just one or two single flowers or numerous clusters of single pretty white and yellow flowers as seen here. Eriophyllum lanosum White Woolly Daisy is a small annual native to the southwestern United States, Baja California and northwest Mexico. It prefers elevations from 200 to 3,000 feet and variable habitats from dry, gravelly mesas and slopes and sunny sandy areas in desert scrub. Eriophyllum lanosum White Woolly Daisy is one of several tiny white daisy type flowers that prefer desert scrub habitats. They are all superficially similar and include Whitedaisy, Tidytips, Daisy Desertstar and Mojave Desertstar. Eriophyllum lanosum

Scientific Name: Eriophyllum lanosum
Common Name: White Woolly Daisy

Also Called: White Easterbonnets, White Easter-bonnets, Whoolly Daisy, Wooly Eriophyllum

Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family

Synonyms: (Actinolepis lanosa, Antheropeas lanosum, Burrielia lanosa)

Status: Native

Duration: Annual

Size: 2 to 6 inches (5-15 cm)

Growth Form: Forb/herb; plants woolly, covered with tufts of long, tangled hairs; generally small, branches horizontal but turned upward at the tips; (decumbent) spreading horizontally then becoming erect (ascending); plants often reddish colored.

Leaves: Pale green; small and without a stalk (sessile); leaves generally linear to oblanceolate; leaves sparsely woolly.

Flower Color: White with yellow center - white outer flowers may show red veins; flower heads are one (solitary) per plant on a slender woolly flowering stalk (a peduncle); flower heads with both ray (8 to 10) and disk (10-20) florets; fruit is a cypsela with a pappus of slender awns.

Flowering Season: February, March, April and May

Elevation: 200 to 3,000 feet (61-914 m)

Habitat Preferences: Common in dry, gravelly mesas and slopes, sunny sandy areas, desert scrub.

Recorded Range: White Woolly Daisy is found in the southwestern United States in AZ, CA, NM, NV and UT. It is also native to Baja California and northwest Mexico in Baja California and Sonora.

Populations in the United States are primarily in AZ, CA and NV; also occurs in the extreme southwest corners of southwest UT and NM.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Eriophyllum lanosum (as Antheropeas lanosum).

North America species range map for White Woolly Daisy, Eriophyllum lanosum:
North American range map courtesy of Virginia Tech, Dept. of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation

North America species range map for White Woolly Daisy, Eriophyllum lanosum: 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 there are 12 species and 12 accepted taxa overall for Eriophyllum (includes genus Antheropeas as a synonym). Worldwide, The Plant List includes 13 accepted species names and a further 52 of infraspecific rank for the genus.

The genus Eriophyllum was published by Mariano Lagasca y Segura in 1816.

In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 5 species of genus, California has 13 species, Nevada has 5 species, New Mexico has 1 species, Texas has 0 species, Utah has 3 species. Statistics include genus Antheropeas as a synonym. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

Comments: White Easterbonnets or Woolly Daisy is an early spring bloomer and a common plant where it is found. It is more closely aligned with the confines of the Mojave Desert where its populations are greatest. It is a plant with the stems, leaves and flowers covered with fine white wholly hairs, often looking like a spider web. Because of this tan herbage covering, plants have a tendency to blend in with the surrounding desert gravel and sand.

White Woolly Daisy superficially resembles Whitedaisy Tidytips, Layia glandulosa, Daisy Desertstar, Monoptilon bellidiforme and Mojave Desertstar, Monoptilon bellioides.

In Southwest Desert Flora also see; Pringle's Wooly Sunflower, Eriophyllum pringlei and Wallace Eriophyllum, Eriophyllum wallacei.

Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
Eriophyllum lanosum flowers and plants may be visited by hummingbirds and/or small mammals in search of food, nectar or cover.

Special Value to Native bees, Butterflies and Insects
Eriophyllum lanosum flowers and plants may be visited by native bees, butterflies and/or insects in search of food, nectar or cover.

The genus “Eriophyllum” (Eriophyl'lum; eriophyl'la:) is from the Greek erion, “wool,” and and phyllon, “leaf,” thus a reference to the matted woolly white hairs that cover the plant.

The genus Eriophyllum was published by Mariano Lagasca y Segura in 1816.

The species epithet lanosum (lano'sa/lano'sum:) means woolly, also a reference to the woolly hairs that cover the plant.


Date Profile Completed: 8/3/2012; updated 07/17/2020
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - as Antheropeas lanosum
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 07/16/2020).
Dale E. Johnson, John S. Mooring, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 21 | Asteraceae; Eriophyllum, 4. Eriophyllum lanosum (A. Gray) A. Gray, Proc. Amer. Acad. Arts. 19: 25. 1883; Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford
John S. Mooring & Dale E. Johnson (annual species) 2012, Eriophyllum lanosum, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora, /eflora/eflora_display.php?tid=1071, accessed on July 17, 2020.
FNA 2006, Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969, Mooring and Johnson 2016 (Jepson Online Manual); Editors; S.Buckley, 2010, A.Hazelton 2015from SEINet Field Guide, on-line; (accessed 07/16/2020).
Wikipedia contributors, 'Eriophyllum lanosum', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 14 February 2018, 15:48 UTC, [accessed 17 July 2020]
SEINet synonyms, scientific names, geographic locations, general information.
Etymology: Michael L. Charters California Plant Names: Latin and Greek Meanings and Derivations; A Dictionary of Botanical and Biographical Etymology - (accessed 07/16/2020)