Size: To 3 feet (91 cm) tall and 1 to 3 feet (30-91 cm) wide or more.
Growth Form:Shrub or subshrub; plants leafy, often wider than tall; herbage from a woody base; plants upright (erect); numerous branches; stems stiff, slender, weak; herbage glandular, covered with short, soft, erect hairs (pubescent).
Leaves: Dark green; leaves up to 2 inches (5 cm) long, blades mostly lanceolate with few, fine teeth or almost smooth along the edges (margins), edges often curled or rolled under (revolute); leaves stiff or rigid, pointed at both ends, mostly stemless (sessile); leaves alternate to whorled; densely glandular mostly below.
Flowering Season: January or February to June or July; again, in August and October or throughout the year with adequate monsoon rainfall.
Elevation: Up to 5,000 feet (1,524 m).
Habitat Preferences: Lower and upper deserts, lower to middle elevations; southern exposures, dry sunny areas, ridges, rocky hillsides and slopes, desert washes.
Recorded Range: The southwestern United States in AZ, CA, NM and TX; native also throughout most of Baja California and northern Mexico in Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas. Largest geographic range in AZ, large ranges in southeast CA, southwest NM and extreme west TX.
Genus Information: In North America there are 2 species and 3 accepted taxa overall for Trixis. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 42 accepted species names and a further 66 scientific names of infraspecific rank for Trixis.
The genus Trixis was published in 1756 by Patrick Browne, (1720-1790). The taxon Trixis californica was published in 1863 in the Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, by Albert Kellogg, Albert (1813-1887).
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah each have 1 species of Trixis, Texas has 2 species. Data approximate, subject to revision.
There is 1 variety in Trixis californica in the United States:
Trixis californica var. californica
Comments:Trixis is a common plant in both lower and upper desert habitats, often growing in and among other taller shrubs and trees. It is well represented throughout its range.
Importance to Wildlife, Birds and Livestock
American Threefold, Trixis californica has showy bright yellow daisy-type flowers, the flowers, their seeds and plants may be visited by hummingbirds and/or small mammals including rodents and granivorous birds in search of food, nectar and protection through cover.
Beneficial Value to Butterflies, Honey Bees and Insects
American Threefold, Trixis californica has showy bright yellow daisy-type flowers, the flowers and their plants may be visited or used by butterflies, moths, flies, honeybees, native bees and other insects in search of nectar, food or shelter and protection.
The genus “Trixis” (Trix'is:) is from the Greek trixos, "three-fold," referring to the three-cleft outer corolla lip.
The genus Trixis was published in 1756 by Patrick Browne, (1720-1790) The taxon Trixis californica was published in 1863 in the Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences, by Albert Kellogg, Albert (1813-1887).
The species epithet “californica” (califor'nica:) of or from California.
According to Arizona Sonora Desert Museum; “The Seri regard this plant as a panacea, claiming that there is nothing that this medicinal herb is not good for. Among its wide range of uses, trixis is smoked like tobacco and administered as an aid to childbirth.”