Cooper’s Dogweed

Cooper’s dogweed, which is also referred to as Cooper’s dyssodia, bears the Latin names Adenophyllum cooperi and Dyssodia cooperi). Of the family Asteraceae, Cooper’s dogweed is a low growing, subshrub with short, upright stems and spiky leaves. It will achieve a height of about 18 inches, usually lower. Generally inconspicuous on the landscape, this plant sports leaves with oil glands. When brushed or stepped on, the plant releases a pungent, unpleasant odor.
A relatively common component of vegetation communities in the Eastern and Southern Mojave Desert, the plant ranges to all areas of San Bernardino County’s desert area. It has within the last two weeks been noted on Fort Irwin, as well as along Kelbaker Road and Kelso-Cima Road in the Mojave National Preserve, and on Highway 247 south of Barstow. It is common along roadsides and on well-drained sandy, gravelly, and rocky soils in washes and on upper bajadas and moderate slopes into the lower mountains in creosote bush scrub areas, Joshua Tree woodlands, Lower Sonoran and Upper Sonoran and pinyon-juniper woodland life zones from 1,800 feet to 4,500 feet.
Cooper’s dogwood blooms in the spring and has yellow, orange and gold ray and disk flowers with the ray flowers sitting lower than the disk flowers. Its leaves are alternate, sessile, stiff, roughly an inch long, oblanceolate with coarsely toothed or shallow lobes. The lobes have spines at the edges. At the base of each leaf are two oil glands, with one more at the tip. The stems are erect and numerous.

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