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Zinnia acerosa

Previously known as:

  • Zinnia Pumila
Phonetic Spelling
ZIN-ya ay-ser-OH-suh
Description

Desert zinnia is a low-growing, rounded, deciduous perennial in the Asteraceae (aster) family and is native to Mexico and the southwest United States, specifically Arizona and Texas,. It has a woody base and herbaceous stems that become woody with age from the bottom up. It can be found growing in prairies, plains, meadows, pastures, and savannas at higher elevations.  

Desert zinnia requires full sun to partial shade and well-drained soil. It will tolerate clay, sand, and shallow rocky soils. Give it 1 to 3 feet of growing space. It will bloom sporadically from spring to fall as long as moisture is available. It may go dormant during long periods of drought. Prune in spring after the last frost to remove winter damage. Cut to the ground every few years to rejuvenate the plant. Propagate desert zinnia by division or seed; seeds are most plentiful on the plant in the fall. 

The plant is used in the restoration of disturbed areas, in naturalized areas, on a slope or bank, and in wildlife and pollinator habitats. It is also a good addition to butterfly, rock, native, and drought-tolerant gardens and grows well in a container.   

Insects, Diseases, and Other Plant Problems:  Over watering can cause root rot. Periods of high rainfall can contribute to flower blight. Young plants may be consumed by rabbits and ants.  Transplanting is difficult due to the plants' deep taproot. 

 VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Annuals, Perennials, Vines, and Groundcovers" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens. 

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#low growing#perennials#deer resistant#herbaceous perennials#groundcover#native wildflower#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#rabbit browsing plant
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#low growing#perennials#deer resistant#herbaceous perennials#groundcover#native wildflower#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats#rabbit browsing plant
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Zinnia
    Species:
    acerosa
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Perennial
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Division
    Seed
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Arizona, Texas, Mexico
    Distribution:
    AZ, NM, TX, UT
    Wildlife Value:
    Butterflies, birds, and bees are attracted.
    Play Value:
    Attractive Flowers
    Attracts Pollinators
    Textural
    Wildlife Food Source
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Perennial
    Wildflower
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Habit/Form:
    Clumping
    Mounding
    Rounded
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    Low
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Partial Shade (Direct sunlight only part of the day, 2-6 hours)
    Soil Texture:
    Clay
    Sand
    Shallow Rocky
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Alkaline (>8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Occasionally Dry
    Very Dry
    Available Space To Plant:
    12 inches-3 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    Piedmont
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    6a, 6b, 7a, 7b, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10a, 10b
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Achene
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Gold/Yellow
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Head
    Flower Value To Gardener:
    Long Bloom Season
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Fall
    Spring
    Summer
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    6 petals/rays
    7 - 20 petals/rays
    Flower Size:
    1-3 inches
    Flower Description:
    The typically creamy-white disk flowers can occasionally be yellow in color. The petals are veined in green on the underside.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Opposite
    Leaf Shape:
    Linear
    Leaf Margin:
    Entire
    Hairs Present:
    Yes
    Leaf Length:
    1-3 inches
    Leaf Description:
    The gray-green, needle-shaped leaves are very narrow, stiff, and have a pointed tip.
  • Stem:
    Stem Color:
    Gray/Silver
    Green
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
    Stem Description:
    The stems are herbaceous with a woody base.
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Container
    Naturalized Area
    Patio
    Slope/Bank
    Walkways
    Landscape Theme:
    Butterfly Garden
    Drought Tolerant Garden
    Native Garden
    Rock Garden
    Design Feature:
    Border
    Mass Planting
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Songbirds
    Resistance To Challenges:
    Deer
    Diseases
    Drought
    Dry Soil
    Heat