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Dwarf White Zinnia Zinnia acerosa

Previously known as:

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

One of 4 US native Zinnia species, Zinnia acerosa is a native of the southwest US.  It has a woody base and herbaceous stems that become woody with age from the bottom up.  Considered to be evergreen, it is also cold-deciduous.  It can be found growing in prairies, plains, meadows, pastures, and savannas at higher elevations or in the home garden.  It will bloom sporadically from spring to fall as long as moisture is available.  It can go dormant during long periods of drought.

Each flower consists of 5 to 7 creamy-white ray flowers and 8 to 13 yellow disc flowers.  The papery ray flowers are somewhat toothed at the tips.  

Zinnia acerosa can be grown from seed, which is most available on the plant in the fall.  Seeds collected from the wild do not have as high a percentage of success as those purchased commercially.  

The low-growing habit of this plant has made it one that is used in the restoration of disturbed areas, and wildlife and pollinator habitats. 

Maintenance is low, however, spring pruning can be completed after the last frost to remove winter damage.  Cutting to the ground every few years will rejuvenate the plant.

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. 

Profile Video:
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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#low growing#perennial#native perennial#deer resistant#herbaceous perennial#groundcover#native wildflower#native#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#heat tolerant#drought tolerant#low growing#perennial#native perennial#deer resistant#herbaceous perennial#groundcover#native wildflower#native#non-toxic for horses#non-toxic for dogs#non-toxic for cats
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Zinnia
    Species:
    acerosa
    Family:
    Asteraceae
    Life Cycle:
    Annual
    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:
    Annual
    Herb
    Perennial
    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, 7b, 7a, 8a, 8b, 9a, 9b, 10b, 10a
  • 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