Desert zinnia, white zinnia
South Arizona, south New Mexico and south Texas
Between 4 and 12 inches
Rocky, open locations; 2,200 to 6,000 feet
Linear, opposite, around half an inch long
Zinnia acerosa is not always easily recognizable as an asteraceae species, especially when its flowers are partly withered, but they have the familiar composite structure, with 4 to 7 white (occasionally pale yellow) ray florets around a center of 8 to 13 yellow disc florets, brown when mature, and elongated, projecting above the rays. The ray florets have three notches at the tip, and are about a quarter of an inch long. Phyllaries are wide - oblong to nearly rounded, blunt at the tip.
Plants form rounded, shrub-like clumps, and inhabit generally dry, semi-desert areas, from south central Arizona to west Texas. Stems are greyish green in color, and they branch readily. Leaves and stems have a covering of short, rough hairs.