Froelichia arizonica Thornb. ex Standl.  
Family: Amaranthaceae
Arizona snakecotton,  more...
Froelichia arizonica image
eugene jercinovic  
Plants perennial; taproot en-larged, woody. Stems 1-several, ascending or decumbent, often branched distally, 3-10 dm, sericeous-tomentose with white hairs. Leaves usually crowded at base, few on stems, sessile or short-petiolate; blade lanceolate, proximal leaves 3-12 × 0.5-2.5 cm, base attenuate, apex acute or rarely obtuse, scaberulous or canescent adaxially, sericeous-tomentose with bright whitish hairs abaxially. Spikes dense, stout, flowers arranged in 3-ranked spiral; bracteoles dark, glabrous. Flowers (3.5-)4-5.5 mm; perianth lobes narrowly oblong, apex obtuse, or acutish, pubescence dense, bright white; filament lobes stramineous or darkened, blunt. Utricles narrowly or broadly winged laterally, 2.5-5.5 × 3-4.5 mm, longer than broad, wing margins irregularly dentate, 1 or both surfaces of perianth with 1 or more basal tubercles or spines. Flowering year-round. Open rocky or gravelly hillsides; 700-2200 m; Ariz., N.Mex., Tex.; Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Nuevo León).
Plant: Perennial forb, sparingly branched above the base, to 70 cm; herbage lanate-tomentose Leaves: leaves opposite, oblanceolate, 1-2 cm wide, mostly basal Flowers: flowers inconspicuous, subtended by dark-colored bracts, in somewhat elongate glomerules Fruit: an indehiscent utricle.
Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969, FNA 2004
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Perennial herb, 20-100 cm tall, from a large woody taproot; stems 1-several, stout, erect, branching from base, with silky tomentose hairs. Leaves: Opposite, crowded near base of stems, sessile or petiolate, the petioles to 1.5 cm; blades thick, oblanceolate, with cuneate bases and obtuse to acute tips, 2-10 cm long and to 1-2 cm wide, the lower surface densely silky-lanate, and the upper surface sparsely lanate to glabrate. Flowers: Brownish, bisexual, in numerous erect wooly spikes 1-4 cm long; the spikes elevated on peduncles 10-30 cm long; bracts subtending each flower ovate, 2 mm long, grayish brown, scarious, with tufts of wool protruding from within; perianth tubular with lance-linear lobes, glabrous, 2 mm long, brownish. Fruits: Utricle ovoid, densely lanate with yellowish or rusty hairs, to 6 mm long. Ecology: Found on dry slopes, often in gravelly or rocky soils from 3,500-5,500 ft (1067-1676 m); flowers July-October. Distribution: se AZ, s NM, sw TX; south to c MEX. Notes: Distinctive as tall, thin perennial with silky hairs all over; thick oblong leaves mostly crowded near the base of the plant, leaving much of the stem leafless and scape-like; a branched inflorescence with dense spikes at the ends of long erect peduncles, the flowers and seeds dense with long, tangled, bright-white hairs that resemble bursting cotton tufts. It is similar to its congener F. gracilis, but that species is an annual with slender stems and narrow leaves. Ethnobotany: Unknown Etymology: Froelichia honors German physician and botanist Joseph Aloys von Froelich (1766-1841), while arizonica means of or from Arizona. Synonyms: None Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2014, AHazelton 2015
Froelichia arizonica image
eugene jercinovic  
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image
Froelichia arizonica image