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This is a native species.

Scabrethia scabra

Scabrethia scabra

Scabrethia scabra

Scabrethia scabra

Scabrethia scabra

Scabrethia scabra.  Synonym: Wyethia scabra. (Desert Mule's Ears)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Semi-desert. Shrublands, openings. Spring, summer.
Above: Arches National Park, Utah, May 27, 2016.
Left: Arches National Park, Utah, May 4, 2005 and March 31, 2016.

This massive beauty grows to over two feet tall and four feet wide. Bright flowers are about four inches in diameter. Scabrethia scabra grows scattered in various high desert communities (including Blackbrush) on open sandy areas.

The winter view of the plant shows a different, subdued, quiet beauty.  

Scabrethia scabra was named Wyethia scabra by Hooker in 1847 and was given the new name of Scabrethia scabra by Colorado's William Weber in 1999, for it is, in the words of Intermountain Flora, "a distinctive species, not to be confused with anything else," and in Weber's words, "not a true Wyethia, and given a new name in the... Flora of North America". "Scabra" is Latin for "rough" and refers to the texture of the leaves. See the texture below.

Scabrethia scabra
Scabrethia scabra.  Synonym: Wyethia scabra. (Desert Mule's Ears)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Semi-desert. Shrublands, openings. Spring, summer.
Arches National Park, Utah, May 4, 2005.

Scabrethia scabra

Scabrethia scabra

Scabrethia scabra.  Synonym: Wyethia scabra. (Desert Mule's Ears)
Asteraceae (Sunflower Family)

Semi-desert. Shrublands, openings. Spring, summer.
Arches National Park, Utah, May 27, 2016.

The mound of vegetation is a mixture of almost white flower stems, dark stubble from last year's flower and leaf stems, and this year's bright green leaves.

As indicated above, "scabra" is Latin for "rough" and refers to the texture of the leaves produced by short, stiff, rough hairs.

Scabrethia scabra

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 Scabrethia scabra