Plant Image
Flower head

Yavapai County Native & Naturalized Plants

Rafinesquia californica - California plumeseed

Other Common Names: California chicory
Plant Form: Forb or Subshrub

Family: Asteraceae

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Flowers and leaves
Max Licher @
Max Licher @
Forb Plant Description

Origin: Native   Life Cycle: Annual   Similar Species: Rafinesquia neomexicana
General Desc: Single stem containing a milky sap which becomes branched in the upper half of the plant.
Identification notes: This species can be distinguished from the only other Rafinesquia species by the tips of the achene exceeding the body of the achene; pappus bristles wholly plumose, barbs straight, not tangled; shorter ray flowers surpassing phyllaries by 5-7mm.
Height: 4 to 30 inches


Habitat Description: Prefers open places in sage scrub, chapparal, desert and woodlands. Often the first plant to establish after a fire.
Plant Communities: Desert Scrub, Interior Chaparral, Pinyon Juniper Woodland, Disturbed Areas
Elevation: 3000 - 4500 feet

Flower Characteristics

Color: White     Shape: Daisy or dandelion-like not in clusters     Tubular: N     Flowering Period: Apr - Jun
Description: Each plant produces many white flowerheads. Floweheads have only ray flowers that are often rose-tinged on the underside.

Leaf and Stem Characteristics

Leaf Color: Green     Leaf Type: Simple     Leaf Shape: Round or oval     Leaf Margin: Lobed     Leaf Attachment: Basal and alternate     Leaves Clasp: N
Hairs: No     Spines: N
Leaf Description: Leaves are most numerous at the base with very few on the stems.

Fruit and Seed Characteristics

Fruit Color: Light brown   
Fruit Type: Achene
Fruit Notes: Smooth to hairy with a beak and bristles.
Seed Notes: Seeds germinate more readily in the presence of burned wood.

  Arizona Cooperative Extension
Yavapai County
840 Rodeo Dr #C
Prescott, AZ 86305
(928) 445-6590
Version 8.0  
Last Updated: Feb 16, 2020  
Content Questions/Comments: Email Jeff Schalau  
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