Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Ditaxis neomexicana, New Mexico Silverbush

New Mexico Silverbush has white, flowers throughout the year. Flowers are both male and female. Flowers on an inflorescence from stem joints or axils. Ditaxis neomexicana New Mexico Silverbush is also called Common Silverbush and New Mexico Ditaxis. Plants grows up to 1 foot or so and is a short lived perennial or brief annual. Ditaxis neomexicana New Mexico Silverbush is found in elevations from 1,000 to 4,000 feet. Note the leaf shapes to be oblanceolate with acute tips. Leaf margins are faintly serrulate or with small teeth or may be entire! Ditaxis neomexicana New Mexico Silverbush has globose or globular fruits which are technically called a capsule. Ditaxis neomexicana

Scientific Name: Ditaxis neomexicana
Common Name: New Mexico Silverbush
Also Called: Common Silverbush, New Mexico Ditaxis
Family: Euphorbiaceae, Spurge or Euphorbia Family
Synonyms: (Argythamnia neomexicana, Ditaxis simulans)
Status: Native
Duration: Annual or short lived Perennial
Size: Up to 1 foot or more.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; plants mostly erect, many branches, densely pubescent with stiff short hairs, hairs appressed along the surface, they are silver all over.
Leaves: Green, alternate, leaf shape variable, lanceolate, elliptical, oblanceolate, tips acute; margins faintly serrulate or with small teeth or entire.
Flower Color: White, flowers both pistillate and staminate, flowers throughout the year, inflorescence a raceme from stem axils; fruits are a globose or globular capsule.
Flowering Season: February to September in Arizona, March to December in California and March to July in Texas.

Elevation: 1,000 to 4,000 feet in Arizona, below 3,000 feet in California.

Habitat Preferences: Sandy and rocky slopes, along washes, creosote-bush scrub plant communities.

Recorded Range: New Mexico Silverbush is found in western North America in AZ, CA, NM, NV and TX and south to Sonora and Baja California.

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

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: New Mexico Silverbush is a member of the Euphorbiaceae family of plants found in California and Arizona. This species is similar to Narrowleaf Silverbush. As with Narrowleaf Silverbush, this species seem to thrive in dry rocky soils, rocky places and canyons. The species is often described as Argythamnia neomexicana in dated and recent literature.

In Southwest Desert Flora also see a closely related species called Narrowleaf Silverbush, Ditaxis lanceolata.

The original genus of this species is Argythamnia, a Greek derivative of "argyro" meaning silvery and the word for shrub. The species epithet, "neomexicana" is a reference to the state of New Mexico which is included in part of the native habitat.

No information available

Date Profile Completed: 06/12/2019
Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, Arizona Flora, University of California Press and Supplement, 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)
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 06/10/2019).
Mark H. Mayfield & Grady L. Webster 2012, Ditaxis neomexicana, in Jepson Flora Project (eds.) Jepson eFlora,, accessed on June 12, 2019.
Correll, D. S. & M. C. Johnston, 1979, Manual of the Vascular Plants of Texas, Publisher: Richardson, Texas: University of Texas
Editor: S. Buckley 2010, F.S. Coburn, 2014
SEINet synonyms, scientific names, geographic locations, general information, (accessed 08/30/2017).