Wyethia scabra Hook.


Family: Asteraceae

Vernacular Name: Badlands mule-ears

Description: Distinguished by the leaves being linear to linear-lanceolate; basal lvs absent, reduced, or similar in size to the cauline leaves. Weber recognizes two "well-marked" races: ssp. scabra, with the outher phyl coarsely hirsute, and ssp. canescens Weber, with the phyls closely imbricated with recurved tips, and covered with fine appressed hairs. (3) "A handsome but rather coarse palnt, with numerous stems from a woody base (2) Welsh writes, "Segregation of the proposed varieties is an exercise in frustration" (5)

Distribution: ARIZ: Apache, Navajo, and Coconino counties, 5,000-6,000 ft, fairly common on dry slopes and mesas. Wyoming-east central Utah, NW New Mexico, and NE Arizona (2). UTAH: Blackbrush, vanclevera-ephedra, other mixed desert shru, oak, pinyon-juniper, and ponderosa pine communities at 1220 to 2625 m in Carbon, Daggett, Duchesne, Emery, Garfield, Grand, Kane, San Juan, and Uintah counties, Arizona, Colorado, NM and Wyoming (5)

Plants Seen or Cited: NMSU 33895, 33907, and 26378, 19 Jun 1934, Mexican Springs; NMSU 33939, Summer, Nakai Bito; NMSU 47854, 10 June 1976, San Juan Co., 10 m/SW Kinbeto (near Chaco); NMSU 37933, 21 June 1934, Near Sweetwater, AZ; UTEP 44448, 19 Jun 1990, UT, Kane Co., US HWY 89.

Comments: On the Albuquerque Plant List for xerophytic landscaping. "Said to be used as an emetic by the Hopi and Navajo Indians, but they consider it dangerous" (2)

Status: Appears to be a widespread taxon with a peripheral distribution in NM.

Important Literature:

1: Martin & Hutchins, 1981

2: Kearney & Peebles, 1951

3: Weber, W. 1987. Colorado Flora: Western Slope. Colorado Associated University Press.

4: Weber, W.A. 1946. A taxonomic and cytological study of the genus Wyethia, family Compositae, with notes on the related genus Balsamorhiza Amer. Midl. Nat. 35:400-452.

5: Welsh, 1993

Utah Distribution map:

Information Compiled By: Patricia Barlow-Irick, 1998