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Bransford, W.D. and Dolphia
Zinnia acerosa (DC.) Gray
Desert zinnia, Dwarf zinnia, Dwarf white zinnia
USDA Symbol: ziac
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Dwarf zinnia usually grows 4–10 inches tall with numerous branches and many narrow leaves, 3/4–1 1/2 inches long. The flower heads have 5–7 white to off-white ray flowers, and yellow disc flowers. The ray flowers are lightly toothed at the tip. The plant has a long blooming period (248).
The genus “zinnia” was named by Linneas in honor of Johann Gottfried Zinn. Zinn was a German anatomist, ophthalmologist, and botanist born in 1727 and died in 1759 (in Germany). He was extraordinary professor of medicine and director of the botanical gardens in the university town of Gottingen. He was one of the first to render an accurate description of the eyeball and he investigated the vessels and nerves of the eye cavity. He collected seeds of Z. elegans (from which the garden Zinnia descends) in Mexico. There he was accosted by bandits who, after searching his bag, left him alone, believing him crazy and therefore unlucky.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Flower:
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Jun , Jul , Aug
AZ , NM , TX , UT Native Habitat:
Prairie, Plains, Meadows, Pastures, Savannahs USDA Native Status: L48(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun
Soil Moisture: Dry
Soil pH: Acidic (pH<6.8)
Soil Description: Rocky
BenefitWarning: The leaves and bulbs are poisonous, as are the bulbs of many members of the lily family. Sensitivity to a toxin varies with a person’s age, weight, physical condition, and individual susceptibility. Children are most vulnerable because of their curiosity and small size. Toxicity can vary in a plant according to season, the plant’s different parts, and its stage of growth; and plants can absorb toxic substances, such as herbicides, pesticides, and pollutants from the water, air, and soil.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Deer Resistant: High
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
National Butterfly Center
- Mission, TXNative Seed Network
- Corvallis, OR
Recommended Species Lists
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Record Modified: 2013-05-31
Research By: TWC Staff