Zinnia acerosa

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Zinnia acerosa
Zinnia acerosa flowers.jpg
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
(unranked): Angiosperms
(unranked): Eudicots
(unranked): Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Zinnia
Species: Z. acerosa
Binomial name
Zinnia acerosa
(DC.) A.Gray
  • Diplothrix acerosa DC.
  • Zinnia pumila A.Gray

Zinnia acerosa is a low growing perennial flowering plant that is native to the Southwestern United States and Northern Mexico. Common names include desert zinnia, wild zinnia, white zinnia and spinyleaf zinnia. It is a popular landscape plant in the southwest due to its low water use and long bloom period. The flowers also serve as a food source for southwestern butterflies.

In the United States it occurs in Arizona, New Mexico and Texas and in Mexico it is found in Sonora, Chihuahua, Nuevo León, Zacatecas and San Luis Potosí.


Old Zinnia acerosa plant about 1' tall past blooming period in the Tucson Sonoran Desert. Many old zinnias in the desert acquire this interesting gnarly form after many years in the desert.