Selected Plants of Navajo Rangelands

Take care of our Navajo Rangelands

Bitterweed
Chi’ilbílátahłitsxoidíchi’i’í

Underside of flower showing typical petal arrangement of Hymenoxys vaseyi.

Bitterweeds are members of the aster family that grow up to five feet tall. There are several species of bitterweed on Navajo rangelands. Like other asters, the flowers have ray flowers (what look like outer petals) and disk flowers (tiny flowers in the dense center of the flower). Both ray flowers and disk flowers are in the yellow to orange spectrum. Bitterweed is toxic to livestock, but affects sheep more than other animals. Due to the bitter taste of the plant, animals generally do not eat it when there are other plants to eat.

For descriptions of specific species, consult the entries on pingue and rubberweed.

Underside of specimen of Hymenoxys odorata showing typical arrangement of the yellow petals and their trilobate tips
Entire specimen of Hymenoxys odorata showing small, bushy habit and yellow flowers
Seeds of Hymenoxys richardsonii showing fuzzy surface and tufted ends
Hand holding the bitterweed pulled from ground showing small, bushy habit and yellow flowers shown at side angle
Hand holding the bitter bush pulled from ground showing small yellow flowers and stems.

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