Rafinesquia neomexicana A. Gray

Desert Chicory
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Desert chicory is a glabrous annual that grows to 60" tall and has somewhat weak, 1-several branching hollow stems and large showy white flowers striped with rose on the underside of the rays.  The basal leaves are pinnatifid to 8" long and the upper are shorter, pinnatifid or entire, and auriculate clasping.  It is common in creosote bush scrub and joshua tree woodland and may be found in both deserts, often seen entangled in and growing up through the branches of other shrubs and using them for support, preferring gravelly and sandy desert soils and blooming from February to May.  These pictures were taken in Joshua Tree National Park.

Click here for Latin name derivations: 1) Rafinesquia 2) neomexicana.
Pronunciation: raf-in-ES-kee-a nee-o-mex-i-KAY-na.
Click here for Botanical Term Meanings.