Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

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

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Eriastrum eremicum, Desert Woolystar

Eriastrum eremicum, Desert WoolystarEriastrum eremicum, Desert WoolystarEriastrum eremicum, Desert WoolystarEriastrum eremicum, Desert WoolystarEriastrum eremicum, Desert Woolystar

Scientific Name: Eriastrum eremicum
Common Name: Desert Woolystar
Also Called: Desert Eriastrum, Desert Woolstar
Family: Polemoniaceae, Jacob’s Ladder or Phlox Family
Synonyms: ()
Status: Native
Duration: Annual, perennial;
Size: Up to 12 inches more or less.
Growth Form: Forb/herb;
Leaves: Green; alternate, pinnately lobed or simple, lobes linear to lanceolate.
Flower Color: Blue to whitish, pink; flowers in dense, leafy-bracted heads, cobwebby with long fine white hairs, calyx lobes generally unequal, corolla funnel-shaped, stamens equal or not, style included or not (exserted), fruit with 1 or few per chamber.
Flowering Season: March to June.
Elevation: Up to 5,000 feet.

Habitat Preferences: Common on dry plains and mesas.

Recorded Range: Eriastrum eremicum is found in the southwestern United States, Baja California and likely northwestern Mexico.

North America & US County Distribution Map for Eriastrum eremicum.

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).

There are 2 sub-species in Eriastrum eremicum:
Eriastrum eremicum subsp. eremicum, Desert Woollystar (AZ, CA, NV, UT)
Eriastrum eremicum subsp. yageri, Yager's Woollystar (AZ, NV)

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

Also see in Southwest Desert Flora; Miniature Woollystar, Eriastrum diffusum.

A drug of Desert Woolystar is made and used by the Paiute for diarrhea, as a stomach medicine is used with children with tuberculosis See ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 05/07/2016, updated format 09/30/2017
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database and USGS ITIS search - (accessed 05/07/2016)
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; (accessed05/06/2016).
1993, The Jepson Manual, Citation: (accessed 05/07/2016),5671,0,5681
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names, recorded geographic locations and general information