PLANT: Shrubs to 4 m tall. LEAVES: thick, mostly canescent. FLOWERS: hypanthium canescent. FRUITS: 5-8 mm wide. NOTES: See also parent taxon. Mesas, canyon slopes and desert grasslands; Cochise, Coconino, Gila, Graham, Greenlee, Maricopa, Mohave, Pima, Pinal, Santa Cruz, Yavapai, Yuma cos.; 330-1500 meters (1000-5000ft); May - Sep; NM,CA, NV, UT; Sonoran Desert, Mex. A decoction made from the roots of Z. obtusifolia var. canescens was used as a treatment for sore eyes by the Pima Indians and the roots have been used in place of soap in parts of Mex. and the Grand Canyon region of n AZ. REFERENCES: Kyle Christie, Michael Currie, Laura Smith Davis, Mar-Elise Hill, Suzanne Neal, and Tina Ayers, 2006 Vascular Plants of Arizona: Rhamnaceae. CANOTIA 2(1): 23-46.