All posts by T. Beth Kinsey

Linaria maroccana – Moroccan Toadflax

Linaria maroccana - Moroccan Toadflax, Baby Snapdragon, Annual Toadflax, Spurred Snapdragon (purple flowers)

Linaria maroccana - Moroccan Toadflax, Baby Snapdragon, Annual Toadflax, Spurred Snapdragon (white flowers)

Linaria maroccana - Moroccan Toadflax, Baby Snapdragon, Annual Toadflax, Spurred Snapdragon (pink flowers)

Linaria maroccana - Moroccan Toadflax, Baby Snapdragon, Annual Toadflax, Spurred Snapdragon

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Linaria maroccana

Common Names: Moroccan Toadflax, Baby Snapdragon, Annual Toadflax, Spurred Snapdragon

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized ornamental plant is native to Morocco.

Habitat: Desert. This colorful wildflower is commonly included in desert wildflower seed mixes and it has become naturalized along roadsides and other disturbed areas.

Flower Color: Pink, Red, Orange, Yellow, Lavender-blue, Purple, White

Flowering Season: Spring. This wildflower prefers cool weather.

Height: Up to 18 inches (46 cm) tall

Description: The flowers are clustered at the stem tips and have 5 lobes with a 2-lobed upper lip and a 3-lobed lower lip, an inflated yellow, white, and/or red-patterned throat, and a long, straight, inflated spur projecting behind the flower. The flowers are followed by tiny, spherical seed capsules. The leaves are green, narrowly linear in shape, and only up to 1 1/2 inches (4 cm) long. The stems are slender, erect, branched, and green to reddish in color.

Special Characteristics

Hummingbird Flower – The flowers sometimes attract hummingbirds.

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Scrophulariales
Family: Scrophulariaceae – Figwort family
Genus: Linaria Mill. – toadflax
Species: Linaria maroccana Hook. f. – Moroccan toadflax

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map

Echeandia flavescens – Torrey's Craglily

Echeandia flavescens - Torrey's Craglily, Crag Lily, Amberlily (flower)

Echeandia flavescens - Torrey's Craglily, Crag Lily, Amberlily

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Echeandia flavescens

Synonyms: Anthericum flavescens, Anthericum torreyi

Common Names: Torrey's Craglily, Crag Lily, Amberlily

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Mountain. This wildflower grows in openings in coniferous forests and in canyons in juniper, oak, and pine woodlands.

Flower Color: Orange-yellow, Yellow-orange

Flowering Season: Summer

Height: Up to 16 inches (41 cm) tall

Description: The 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide flowers face outward or upward on slender flowering stalks and have 6 elliptic, amber-colored tepals (3 petals and 3 narrower, petal-like sepals). The flowers are followed by erect, oblong seed capsules. The grasslike leaves have upcurved margins and are green, basal, and narrowly linear in shape. The plants have enlarged storage roots and corms.

Special Characteristics

Legal StatusProtected Native Plant (Salvage Restricted)

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Liliopsida – Monocotyledons
Subclass: Liliidae
Order: Liliales
Family: Liliaceae – Lily family
Genus: Echeandia Ortega – echeandia
Species: Echeandia flavescens (Schult. & Schult. f.) Cruden – Torrey's craglily

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map
Torrey's Craglily (Echeandia flavescens) – The Firefly Forest

Polygala macradenia – Glandleaf Milkwort

Polygala macradenia - Glandleaf Milkwort, Gland-leaf Milkwort, Purple Milkwort (flower)

Polygala macradenia - Glandleaf Milkwort, Gland-leaf Milkwort, Purple Milkwort

Polygala macradenia - Glandleaf Milkwort, Gland-leaf Milkwort, Purple Milkwort

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Polygala macradenia

Common Names: Glandleaf Milkwort, Gland-leaf Milkwort, Purple Milkwort

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Subshrub

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert, Upland. This non-showy wildflower grows in open areas in rocky, often limestone soil.

Flower Color: Purple

Flowering Season: Late spring, Summer, Early Fall

Height: Up to 8 inches (21 cm) tall

Description: The tiny, winged flowers have 2 purple, petal-like, round-tipped, projecting, lateral sepals and a central tube of fused, white and yellow petals. This unusual flower shape is typical of Polygala species. The flowers are followed by hairy, gland-dotted, oblong to narrowly egg-shaped seed capsules. The leaves are small, thick, green, densely hairy, gland-dotted, and oblong, narrowly egg-shaped, to broadly lance-shaped. The numerous, crowded stems are densely leafy, ascending to erect, green and densely hairy near the tips, and brown, woody, and shrub-like at the base of the plant.

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Polygalales
Family: Polygalaceae – Milkwort family
Genus: Polygala L. – polygala
Species: Polygala macradenia A. Gray – glandleaf milkwort

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map

Malacothrix fendleri – Fendler's Desertdandelion

Malacothrix fendleri - Fendler's Desertdandelion, Fendler's Desert Dandelion, Fendler's Dandelion (flowers)

Malacothrix fendleri - Fendler's Desertdandelion, Fendler's Desert Dandelion, Fendler's Dandelion

Malacothrix fendleri - Fendler's Desertdandelion, Fendler's Desert Dandelion, Fendler's Dandelion

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Malacothrix fendleri

Common Names: Fendler's Desertdandelion, Fendler's Desert Dandelion, Fendler's Dandelion

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Annual

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Desert, Upland. This wildflower grows in sunny, open, sandy and rocky areas in deserts and grasslands.

Flower Color: Bright yellow

Flowering Season: Spring

Height: Up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall or rarely more

Description: The dandelion-like flower heads are about 1 inch (2.5 cm) across and have numerous yellow, strap-shaped, blunt-tipped, minutely toothed ligules (ray petals) that are usually striped with red or purple below. The leaves are grayish green, sessile, mainly basal, alternate and much smaller on the stems, lance-shaped, and often deeply pinnately lobed with triangular lobes. The stems are branched, decumbent or spreading-ascending, hairless, and green, glaucous, or reddish purple in color.

The other Malacothrix species found here are taller and have erect or ascending stems. Common Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) has finer flower petals, is much greener and leafier, and grows only in moist areas like lawns and riparian areas and not out in the dry, open desert and grasslands.

Classification

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: Malacothrix DC. – desertdandelion
Species: Malacothrix fendleri A. Gray – Fendler's desertdandelion

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map

Viola canadensis – Canadian White Violet

Viola canadensis - Canadian White Violet, Canada Violet, Tall White Violet (flowers)

Viola canadensis - Canadian White Violet, Canada Violet, Tall White Violet (flower)

Viola canadensis - Canadian White Violet, Canada Violet, Tall White Violet (open seed capsules)

Viola canadensis - Canadian White Violet, Canada Violet, Tall White Violet

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Viola canadensis

Common Names: Canadian White Violet, Canada Violet, Tall White Violet

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Native

Habitat: Mountain, Riparian. This mountain wildflower grows in moist, rich soil in sunny to shady locations in coniferous forests at middle to high elevations.

Flower Color: White, Pale pinkish purple

Flowering Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

Height: Up to 16 inches (40 cm) tall

Description: The up to 3/4 inch (1.9 cm) wide flowers emerge from the leaf axils and have 5 round-tipped, unequal, white to light purple petals with yellow at the base and 5 green, narrowly lance-shaped sepals. The lower 3 petals are lined with dark purple at the base and the 2 lower side petals are bearded. The backs of the petals are often purple-tinged. The flowers are followed by hairless, 3-valved seed capsules that explode open when dry and expel the seeds a distance away from the parent plant. The leaves are dark green, basal and alternate, toothed, and heart-shaped with a tapering, pointed tip. The stems are erect, branched, green to brownish, and hairy or hairless.

The similarly white-flowered Small White Violet (Viola macloskeyi) has leaves with blunt tips and small flowers only up to 1/2 inch (1.3 cm) across, while Marsh Violet (Viola palustris) has leaves with broadly rounded (not pointed) tips. Field Pansy (Viola bicolor) sometimes has white flowers, but it has leaves with leaflike, deeply lobed stipules.

Special Characteristics

Edible – The tender young leaves, flowers, and flower buds are edible either raw or cooked. The leaves can also be used to make tea or to thicken soups. The flowers make an attractive addition to salads.

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Dilleniidae
Order: Violales
Family: Violaceae – Violet family
Genus: Viola L. – violet
Species: Viola canadensis L. – Canadian white violet

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map
Canadian White Violet (Viola canadensis) – The Firefly Forest

Verbascum thapsus – Common Mullein

Verbascum thapsus - Common Mullein, Big Taper, Flannel Plant, Flannel Mullein, Velvet Dock, Velvet Plant, Woolly Mullein, Great Mullein (flowers)

Verbascum thapsus - Common Mullein, Big Taper, Flannel Plant, Flannel Mullein, Velvet Dock, Velvet Plant, Woolly Mullein, Great Mullein

Verbascum thapsus - Common Mullein, Big Taper, Flannel Plant, Flannel Mullein, Velvet Dock, Velvet Plant, Woolly Mullein, Great Mullein

Verbascum thapsus - Common Mullein, Big Taper, Flannel Plant, Flannel Mullein, Velvet Dock, Velvet Plant, Woolly Mullein, Great Mullein (deformed)

Plant Name

Scientific Name: Verbascum thapsus

Common Names: Common Mullein, Big Taper, Flannel Plant, Flannel Mullein, Velvet Dock, Velvet Plant, Woolly Mullein, Great Mullein

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Biennial

Growth Habit: Herb/Forb

Arizona Native Status: Introduced. This naturalized weed is native to Europe and the temperate and mountainous parts of Asia.

Habitat: Upland, Mountain. Common Mullein grows in disturbed areas and is especially common along roadsides.

Flower Color: Yellow

Flowering Season: Summer, Fall

Height: Up to 6 feet (1.8 m) tall

Description: The up to 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide flowers are densely packed on tall, upright, stout flower stalks and have 5 oval-shaped, yellow lobes and 5 stamens with orange anthers and white-bearded or yellow-bearded anther filaments. The flowers are followed by ovoid seed capsules. The leaves decrease in size up the stem and are pale grayish green, wavy, covered in soft, dense, velvety hairs, in a basal rosette below, alternate on the flowering stem, and oblanceolate-oblong in shape. The plants are only a basal rosette of leaves for their first year and then bloom during their second year. The plants sometimes have deformed flower stalks that become weirdly cockscomb-shaped or clumped as they develop.

Classification

Kingdom: Plantae – Plants
Subkingdom: Tracheobionta – Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta – Seed plants
Division: Magnoliophyta – Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida – Dicotyledons
Subclass: Asteridae
Order: Scrophulariales
Family: Scrophulariaceae – Figwort family
Genus: Verbascum L. – mullein
Species: Verbascum thapsus L. – common mullein

More About This Plant

Arizona County Distribution Map
Common Mullein (Verbascum thapsus) – The Firefly Forest