Parthenium incanum – Mariola

Parthenium incanum - Mariola (flowers)

Parthenium incanum - Mariola

Parthenium incanum - Mariola (leaves)

Parthenium incanum - Mariola

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Parthenium incanum

Common Name: Mariola

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Shrub

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert, Upland. Mariola prefers caliche soil and grows in dry, sunny, open areas in upper elevation deserts and in desert grasslands. Although it is most typical of the Chihuahuan Desert, this plant can also be found in some parts of the Sonoran Desert.

Flower Color: Creamy white to yellowish cream

Flowering Season: Summer, Fall

Height: Up to 40 inches (1 m) tall, but usually less

Description: The small flower heads are in compact, flat-topped clusters at the stem tips and have 5 oval, deeply notched, white rays and cream-colored central disks. The leaves are small, green, alternate, gland-dotted, covered with a mat of flattened, woolly, grayish white hairs, and usually pinnately lobed with an odd number of round-tipped lobes. The stems are well-branched from the base and the lower stems are woody.

The very similar Gray's Feverfew (Parthenium confertum) is only an herb or subshrub and does not have woody stems, woolly hairs on the leaves, or flowers with deeply notched rays.


Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae – Aster family
Genus: Parthenium L. – feverfew
Species: Parthenium incanum Kunth – mariola

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map