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Erigeron pulcherrimus
Erigeron pulcherrimus (Beautiful Daisy)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Semi-desert. Openings. Spring, summer.
De-Na-Zin/Bisti Wilderness, New Mexico, May 21, 2009.

Erigeron pulcherrimus grows with compact tufts of vertical basal leaves.  Stem leaves clasp and are reduced upward or are not present.  Leaves and stems have appressed, short, scattered hairs oriented vertically.  Phyllaries are often imbricate (overlapping, shingle-like, in several rows).  Dried, straw-colored leaves, upright flower stems, and conspicuous phyllaries persist for months after flowers fade. 

Several other species of Erigeron could be confused with E. pulcherrimus: the New Mexico Rare Plants web site indicates "The relationships of E. compactus, E. bistiensis, E. pulcherrimus, and E. sivinskii are in need of further study".  There is variability in a number of morphological characteristics of E. pulcherrimus. For instance, in the number of rows of pappus hairs and in the amount and kind of hairs on the phyllaries: The Flora of North America indicates the phyllaries are "minutely glandular", Intermountain Flora indicates they are "obscurely viscid", and Welsh indicates "obscurely glandular apically").

Erigeron pulcherrimus is found through Northern New Mexico, in northeastern Arizona, along the border of Utah and Colorado, and in western Wyoming.

In 1898 Amos Heller named the plant from a collection he made near Santa Fe.  The plant had previously been named Erigeron stenophyllum by Asa Gray in 1857 from a collection made by Bigelow along the Pecos River in 1853 or 1854. "Pulcherrimus" means "extremely beautiful".

Erigeron pulcherrimus

Erigeron pulcherrimus (Beautiful Daisy)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Semi-desert. Openings. Spring, summer.
De-Na-Zin/Bisti Wilderness, New Mexico, May 21, 2009.

Phyllaries on this plant are in several rows and are slightly glandular, i.e., with bulbous-tipped, sticky hairs.

Erigeron pulcherrimus

Erigeron pulcherrimus (Beautiful Daisy)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Semi-desert. Openings. Spring, summer.
De-Na-Zin/Bisti Wilderness, New Mexico, May 21, 2009.

The green, vertical basal leaves wither to become buff and horizontal.

Range map © John Kartesz,
Floristic Synthesis of North America

State Color Key

Species present in state and native
Species present in state and exotic
Species not present in state

County Color Key

Species present and not rare
Species present and rare
Species extirpated (historic)
Species extinct
Species noxious
Species exotic and present
Native species, but adventive in state
Eradicated
Questionable presence

Range map for Erigeron pulcherrimus