Perennials, 10-40 cm. Stems spreading to erect. Leaves all or mostly opposite (distal sometimes alternate); blades simple or 1-2-ternately lobed, lobes lanceolate to oblong, 10-25(-55+) × 2-5(-20+) mm, faces ± densely scabrello-canescent, usually gland-dotted as well. Involucres 5-7+ × 9-14+ mm. Ray florets 8-13+; corolla laminae 6-15+ mm. Disc florets 60-80(-120+); corollas 3-4 mm. Cypselae 3-4.5+ mm, faces hirtellous to ± strigose; pappi of ± spatulate to obovate, apically ± muticous scales 1-1.5 mm. 2n = 24, 48.
Flowering Mar-Nov. Sandy soils with mesquite or desert scrubs, calcareous places; 600-1700 m; Ariz., N.Mex., Tex.; Mexico.
FNA 2006, Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Perennial herb, 10-40 cm tall, from a woody base; stems spreading to erect, much branched; herbage white-tomentose. Leaves: Mostly opposite, and subsessile to short-petiolate; blades 1-6 cm long, entire or 1-2 times ternately lobed, the lobes lanceolate to oblong; surfaces densely canescent and usually gland dotted. Flowers: Flower heads yellow, radiate, solitary or few on long peduncles at the tips of the stems and branches; involucre (the ring of bracts surrounding the flower head) hemispheric, 5-7 mm high by 9-14 mm broad, the bracts (phyllaries) usually in 2 series; ray florets 8-13, the corolla laminae (ray petals) 6-15 mm long, yellow; disc florets 60-80, the disc corollas 3-4 mm, yellow. Fruits: Achenes obpyramidal, 3-5 mm long, copiously long-hairy at the base, with pappus of papery scales 1-1.5 mm, attached to the tip. Ecology: Found on arid slopes, flats, and hillsides, and along arroyos, from 2,500-5,500 ft (762-1676 m); flowers April-October. Distribution: s AZ, s NM, sw TX: south to s MEX. Notes: Distinguished by being a gray-green perennial herb with many spreading or erect branches from the base; the leaves are opposite and covered in dense hairs, and many of the leaves are divided into three lobes from the base; it has showy flower heads with large yellow rays (the -petals- around the edge of the flower head) and yellow discs (the florets in the middle of the head). Often abundant on caliche soil. Ethnobotany: Unknown, but other species in the genus have uses. Etymology: Bahia is named after Juan Francisco de Bahi y Fonseca (1775-1841), a Spanish botany professor, while absinthifolia means with leaves like absinthium (i.e. Artemisia absinthium), which is the herb used to flavor Absinthe. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2014, AHazelton 2015