Desert Wildflowers: Desert Chicory

Desert Chicory, also known as Plumeseed, or New Mexico Plumeseed

Rafinesquia neomexicana

Family: Asteraceae, commonly referred to as the aster, daisy, composite, or sunflower family

Fun Facts

Desert chicory has a taproot that can grow up to 1 meter in length, allowing it to access deep soil moisture. Desert chicory is an important source of nectar for bees and other pollinators, which play a critical role in maintaining the biodiversity of desert ecosystems.


Desert Chicory occurs in California, Nevada, Utah, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas as well as in Northern Mexico (Baja California and Sonora). The plant typically grows in sandy or rocky soils and can tolerate extreme heat and drought conditions.

Bloom Season


I have observed this wildflower in 2023 in the following Southern California desert areas:

Whitewater Preserve (March 2023)
Mission Creek Preserve (March 2023)
Joshua Tree National Park, Cottonwood area (March 2023)
Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains (April 2023)


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