Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Packera quercetorum, Oak Creek Ragwort

Oak Creek Ragwort has beautiful showy daisy-like yellow flowers that have both ray and disk florets on them as shown here. Packera quercetorum Oak Creek Ragwort flower heads are surrounded by green or yellow bracts as shown here. Packera quercetorum Oak Creek Ragwort has Dandelion type puff-ball fruit heads that are called cypselae.  Packera quercetorum Oak Creek Ragwort has both lower (basal) leaves and primarily and upper leaves. The lower leaves are purple or blue tinged as seen in the photo. Packera quercetorum Oak Creek Ragwort grows to about 2 or 3.5 feet (60-100 cm) tall and blooms from March or April to May or June Packera quercetorum

Scientific Name: Packera quercetorum
Common Name: Oak Creek Ragwort

Also called: Oak Creek Groundsel

Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family

Synonyms: (Senecio macropus, Senecio quercetorum)

Status: Native

Duration: Perennial

Size: 2 to 3.5 feet (60-106 cm) tall

Growth Form: Forb/herb; plants upright or spreading; multiple stems.

Leaves: Green or whitish green; both lower and upper leaves; lower leaves purple or blue tinged, upper leaves lightly tinged; surface without hairs; leaf shape ovate or lyre-shaped, deeply lobed, with a large terminal lobe and smaller lateral ones.

Flower Color: Bright yellow showy flowers; flowers with both ray and disk florets, both yellow; fruit a cypsela.

Flowering Season: March or April to May or June

Elevation: 2,500-7,500 feet (762-2,286 m)

Habitat Preferences: Rocky soils, open areas; Upper desert, chaparral vegetation, scrub-oak and pinyon-pine.

Recorded Range: Oak Creek Ragwort is relatively rare in the United States where it occurs only in Arizona and New Mexico. The largest populations are in Arizona.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Packera quercetorum.

North America species range map for Packera quercetorum:

North America species range map for Packera quercetorum: 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 58 species for Packera. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 66 accepted species names and a further 159 scientific names of infraspecific rank for Packera.

Packera is a genus that was previously included in genus Senecio.

The genus Packera was published by Áskell Löve and Doris Benta Maria Löve in 1975.

In the Southwestern United States: Arizona and Utah each have 11 species of genus, California has 16 species, Nevada has 8 species, New Mexico has 23 species, Texas has 11 species. All data approximate and subject to revision.

Comments: Oak Creek Ragwort is a tall robust showy upper desert spring bloomer that is primarily an Arizona species named after its type location in Oak Creek Canyon, Arizona. This species is never found in the field in large numbers, but always a delight to find isolated specimens.

In Southwest Desert Flora also see: New Mexico Groundsel, Packera neomexicana.

Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
Oak Creek Groundsel, Packera quercetorum showy yellow flowers and their seeds and plants may be visited by hummingbirds and/or small mammals including rodents and granivorous birds in search of food, nectar, shelter and protection through cover.

Beneficial Value to Butterflies, Bees and Insects
Oak Creek Groundsel, Packera quercetorum bright yellow daisy-like flowers and their plants may be visited by butterflies, moths and other insects in search of nectar and/or other food.

The genus Packera is named in honor of John George Packer (1929-2019) who specialized on the flora of Alberta and on Arctic and alpine flora.

The genus Packera was published by Áskell Löve and Doris Benta Maria Löve in 1975.

The species epithet "neomexicana" (neomexica'na:) means of or from New Mexico.

Packera neomexicana var. neomexicana is used as an antidote, burn dressing or other purposes by the Navajo Nation.

Date Profile Completed: 07/11/2012, updated 09/10/2020
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, as Senecio quercetorum.
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 09/10/2020) - for Packera
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 09/10/2020).
Debra K. Trock,FNA; Asteraceae; Asteraceae, Packera 44. Packera quercetorum (Greene) C. Jeffrey, Kew Bull. 47: 101. 1992..; Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford.
FNA 2006, Kearney and Peebles 1969, Editor: S.Buckley, 2010, Field Guide from SEINet (accessed 09/10/2020).
'Packera', Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, 13 February 2020, 03:26 UTC,;d=940537410 [accessed 18 February 2020]
Seiler, John, Peterson, John, North American species range map courtesy of Virginia Tech, Dept. of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation
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 02/03/2020 and 02/19/2020)