Plant Image
Willow Lake near dog park - Sue Smith

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Heterotheca subaxillaris - camphorweed

Synonyms: Heterotheca lamarckii, H. latifolia, H. psammophila, H. scabra
Other Common Names: telegraph plant
Plant Form: Forb

Family: Asteraceae

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Willow Lake area
Sue Smith
Willow Lake near dog park
Sue Smith
Leaves and stem
Willow Lake near dog park
Sue Smith
Willow Lake near dog park
Sue Smith
Plant - spring
Willow Lake near dog park
Sue Smith
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Biennial or annual
General Desc: Tall and erect drought tolerant plant known for a camphor-like odor released from its leaves when crushed. Long blooming with many yellow flowers at the tips of branches. Leaves basal and rarely persisting to flowering, sometimes present and withered.
Identification notes: Weedy annual or biennial, to 5 feet tall, erect, branches spreading, hairy; leaves aromatic, ovate or oblong, dentate or subentire, lower ones stemmed, deciduous, middle and upper sessile and clasping. Yellow ray flowers and yellow-orange disc flowers.
Height: 1 to 5 feet


Habitat Description: Grows along roadsides and trails, disturbed areas, dry slopes and at edges of fields.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Semidesert Grasslands, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 1000 - 5500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: Yellow     Shape: Daisy or dandelion-like in round clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Mar - Nov
Description: The daisy-like flower head is 1/2 to 1 inch wide, composed of 15 to 30 slender overlapping yellow ray flowers and a yellow-orange center (disc flowers). There are many loosely clustered flower heads per plant, branching from the upper stems.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Round or oval     Leaf Margin: Toothed     Leaf Attachment: Basal and alternate     Leaves Clasp: Y
Hairs: Leaves and stems     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Oval leaves 1 to 4 inches long, slightly toothed margins. Leaves along middle and upper stem are stalkless and clasping. Stem is green, upright, with branching occurring only in the upper section. Leaves and stem are sticky due to glands in the hairs.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Tan   
Fruit Type: Achene
Seed Notes: Achenes densely silky-hairy; bristles reddish-brown.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 7.0  
Last Updated: May 10, 2017  
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