San Felipe Dyssodia, San Felipe Dogweed
Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Subshrub under 3 feet tall
Sonoran and southern Mojave Deserts, southeastern California, Arizona, northwestern Mexico
Dry slopes, mesas and washes, Creosote Bush Scrub
Living Desert Location:
Upper Colorado Garden
With its addicting scent and beautifully understated flowers, San Felipe dyssodia makes an unusual addition to any butterfly garden.
A straggling or rounded shrub common in desert scrub vegetation below 3,500 feet, San Felipe dyssodia can often be found growing amongst other shrubs. Leaves and stems are marked with oil-glands and are very odorous, especially when crushed. This inconspicuous plant can be easily overlooked, but there is no mistaking its presence when the foliage has been contacted and the distinctive odor permeates the air. Flowering may occur throughout the year but is primarily in spring. Flower heads are discoid with yellow-orange flowers; ray flowers are inconspicuous or absent. Noticeable glands dot the phyllaries, or bracts, below the flowers. The fruit is an achene. Achenes are dry, simple fruits and look like seeds, but the actual single seed is inside the pericarp or surrounding tissue. Seeds are wind-dispersed with the aid of the bristly pappus attached to the achene. The common name refers to an area in eastern San Diego County near the border of Anza-Borrego Desert State Park.