Shrubs, 20-50 cm. Stems densely branched, glandular-puberulent. Leaves opposite or alternate; petioles 0-3 mm; blades 3-4-nerved from bases (veins prominent), deltate, lanceolate, or ovate, 10-50 × 5-25 mm, bases acute to truncate or cordate, margins usually sharply dentate or dentate-serrate, rarely entire, apices acute to acuminate, faces glabrous or strigose and minutely glandular-puberulent. Heads in open, paniculiform arrays. Peduncles 10-70 mm, hispid to hispidulous and stipitate-glandular. Involucres cylindric to broadly campanulate, 9-15 mm. Phyllaries 24-33 in 3-4 series, green, 3-16-striate, subequal or unequal, margins narrowly scarious (apices acute to acuminate); outer (often bright green, 4-16-striate) lance-linear, linear-ovate, or broadly ovate, inner (pale green, 3-4-striate) linear or narrowly lanceolate (often chartaceous, scabrellous, often glandular). Florets 40-90; corollas pale yellow-green or cream, often purple-tinged, 6-8 mm. Cypselae 3-5.5 mm, scabrellous; pappi of 18-25 smooth or barbellulate bristles.
All three varieties of Brickellia atractyloides often intergrade and are not readily distinguished in some cases.
FNA 2006, Wiggins 1964, Benson and Darrow 1981, Kearny and Peebles 1979
Common Name: spearleaf brickellbush Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Subshrub General: Densely branched shrub 20-50 cm tall, with flexuous, grayish, glandular-puberulent stems; bark shreds longitudinally. Leaves: Opposite or usually alternate, petioles 0-3 mm, blades 3-4 nerved from bases with prominent veins; deltate, to lanceolate-ovate, 10-50 mm by 5-25 mm, bases acute to truncate-cordate, margins sharply dentate or dentate-serrate, rarely entire, apices acute to acuminate, faces glabrous or strigose and minutely glandular-puberulent. Flowers: Heads in open, paniculiform corymbs on peduncles 10-70 mm, hispid to hispidulous and stipitate-glandular; involucres cylindric to broadly campanulate, 9-15 mm; phyllaries 24-33 in 3-4 series, green, 3-16 striate, subequal or unequal, margins narrowly scarious, acute to acuminate apices; corollas white or yellowish, 6-8 mm long, often purple tinged. Fruits: Cypselae 4 mm long, dark gray, hispidulous on angles, pappus bristles 18-25, smooth or barbellulate. Ecology: Found on rocky hillsides, outwash slopes, in canyons from 3,000-7,000 ft (914-2134 m); flowers March-September. Distribution: s UT, s NV, se CA, AZ Notes: Notable for its slightly leathery, more or less oval, and serrate leaves that are borderline spinose, usually with one inflorescence per stem. The veins are also very prominent on the surface of the leaves, which is also characteristic of this species. Ethnobotany: Unknown, but other species in this genus have many uses. Etymology: Brickellia is named for Dr. John Brickell (1749-1809), while atractyloides is thought to be derived from the genus Atractylis, such that it means like the genus Atractylis. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley, 2010