Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Ditaxis lanceolata, Narrowleaf Silverbush

Narrowleaf Silverbush has inconspicuous greenish white flowers, both staminate and pistillate with hairy petals and sepals. The flowers are borne in unbranched flowering stems with 1 female flower and several male flowers. Ditaxis lanceolata Narrowleaf Silverbush is native to Arizona and California with small or large hairs often lying flat on the flowers, leaves and stems. Ditaxis lanceolata Narrowleaf Silverbush, sometimes called Lanceleaf Ditaxis is a member of the Spurge or Euphorbia family. Plants are erect sub-shrubs or forbs. Ditaxis lanceolata Narrowleaf Silverbush is a perennial species that may grow up to 20 inches tall. The leaves are lanceolate and densely hairy. Flowers bloom from February to September in Arizona and March to May in California. Ditaxis lanceolata Narrowleaf Silverbush grows in elevations from 350 to 3,000 feet and prefer dry areas, rocky soils and rocky slopes as well as canyons. Ditaxis lanceolata

Scientific Name: Ditaxis lanceolata
Common Name: Narrowleaf Silverbush
Also Called: Lanceleaf Ditaxis, Narrow-Leaf Silverbush
Family: Euphorbiaceae, Spurge or Euphorbia Family
Synonyms: (Argythamnia lanceolata, Argythamnia sericophylla var. verrucosemina)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 20 inches.
Growth Form: Subshrub and Forb/herb; erect, surfaces appressed-hairy.
Leaves: Green, entire, blades lanceolate, densely hairy,
Flower Color: Greenish white, inconspicuous; flowers both staminate and pistillate; both petals and sepals abaxially hairy. The flowers are borne in racemes with 1 female flower and several male flowers.
Flowering Season: February to September in Arizona and from March to May in California.

Elevation: 350 to 3,000 feet in Arizona and are found usually below 2,500 feet in California.

Habitat Preferences: Dry, rocky soils and rocky slopes, canyons.

Recorded Range: Ditaxis lanceolata is found in Arizona, California and south into Mexico and Baja California.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Ditaxis lanceolata (as Argythamnia lanceolata).

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.

Genus Information: In North America there are 15 species for Ditaxis mostly in the southwest states. Worldwide, The Plant List includes 50 accepted species names and a further 19 scientific names of infraspecific rank for the genus.

In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 8 species of genus, California has 5 species, Nevada has 3 species, New Mexico has 4 species, Texas has 7 species, Utah has 1 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.

Comments: Narrowleaf Silverbush is a member of the Euphorbiaceae family of plants found in California and Arizona. The plants seem to thrive in dry rocky soils, rocky places and canyons. The species is often described as Argythamnia lanceolata in dated and recent literature.

In Southwest Desert Flora also see a closely related species called New Mexico Silverbush, Ditaxis neomexicana.


The original genus of this species is Argythamnia, a Greek derivative of "argyro" meaning silvery and the word for shrub. The species epithet, "lanceolata" is a reference to the primary shape of its leaves.


No information available
Date Profile Completed: 06/11/2019
Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, Arizona Flora, and Supplement (1960) University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
Kearney and Peebles,1969
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 06/10/2019)
Mark H. Mayfield & Grady L. Webster 2012, Ditaxis lanceolata, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 10, 2019.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 06/10/2019).
Geoffrey A. Levin & Lynn J. Gillespie, FNA | Family List | FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 12 | Euphorbiaceae | 9. Argythamnia lanceolata | Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford.
SEINet synonyms, scientific names, geographic locations, general information, (accessed 06/10/2019).