Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Eriastrum diffusum, Miniature Woollystar

Eriastrum diffusum, Miniature WoollystarEriastrum diffusum, Miniature WoollystarEriastrum diffusum, Miniature WoollystarEriastrum diffusum, Miniature Woollystar

Scientific Name: Eriastrum diffusum
Common Name: Miniature Woollystar
Also Called: Diffuse Eriastrum, Diffuse Woolstar, Miniature Woolstar
Family: Polemoniaceae, Jacob’s Ladder or Phlox Family
Synonyms: (Eriastrum diffusum subsp. diffusum , Eriastrum diffusum subsp. jonesii)
Status: Native
Duration: Annual
Size: Up to 8 inches more or less.
Growth Form: Forb/herb; stems erect or spreading, often diffusely branched.
Leaves: Green; alternate, 2 to 4 lobes near the base, leaves glabrous to woolly.
Flower Color: Blue, yellow, or cream; calyx lobes more or less unequal, corolla funnel-shaped, leafy-bracted heads, stamens unequal in length and exserted beyond lobes.
Flowering Season: March to June.
Elevation: 1,000 to 5,500 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Open areas sandy soil.

Recorded Range: Miniature Woollystar is found in southwestern United States; in Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas and Utah. It is found throughout Arizona

North America & US County Distribution Map for Eriastrum diffusum.

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: USDA includes 17 species in Eriastrum throughout the western United States. 2 species in Arizona, 17 species in California and 1 species in New Mexico and Texas.

The Plant List includes 16 are accepted species names for the genus Eriastrum (Note minor discrepancy above).

Comments: Miniature Woollystar and Desert Woollystar are superficially similar in appearance, the differences are primarily technical.

Also see in Southwest Desert Flora; Desert Woolystar, Eriastrum eremicum.

Date Profile Completed: 05/06/2016, updated format 09/30/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search (accessed 05/06/2016).
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles, California.
The Plant List (2013). Version 1.1. Published on the Internet; (accessed 05/06/2016).
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 05/06/2016),5671,5680
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information