Plants 30-120 cm. Leaves cau-line; sessile; blades oblong-lanceolate to elliptic-oblong, 2.5-13 cm, bases sagittate or clasping, margins dentate to denticulate, faces minutely stipitate-glandular and/or hirtellous (reticulate). Heads in corymbiform arrays. Involucres turbinate, 5-8 mm. Phyllaries in 2-3 series, linear to lanceolate, margins fimbrillate-glandular, apices obtuse to acute, abaxial faces glabrous or glandular-hairy. Receptacles reticulate (edges of sockets glandular). Florets 8-12; corollas pink or purple, 9-20 mm. Cypselae linear-fusiform, 2-6 mm, glandular-puberulent; pappi bright white, 9-12 mm. 2n = 54. Flowering Jun-Nov. Gravel, caliche, or sandy loamy soils in open desert (Lower Sonoran Desert); 400-1400 m; Ariz., N.Mex., Tex., Utah; Mexico (Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, San Luis Potosí, Sonora, Zacatecas).
FNA 2006, Wiggins 1964, Kearney and Peebles 1969
Duration: Perennial Nativity: Native Lifeform: Forb/Herb General: Erect perennial herb, 30-120 cm tall, with subglabrous to glandular-scabrid stems. Leaves: Alternate and sessile, the blades oblong, 3-13 cm long, thin to rather rigid, bases sagittate or clasping, margins minutely toothed, surfaces minutely stipitate-glandular and hirtellous. Flowers: Flower heads clustered in dense corymb-like panicles; involucre (the ring of bracts surrounding each flower head) turbinate (top-shaped), 5-8 mm high, the bracts in 2-3 series, linear to lanceolate, margins ciliate, tips obtuse to acute; flowers all bisexual, 8-12 per head, the corollas bilabiate with 2 lobes on one side and 3 lobes on the other side, pink or purple, 9-20 mm long. Fruits: Achenes linear-fusiform, 2-6 mm, glandular-puberulent, with a pappus of bright white hairs, 9-12 mm. Ecology: Found on rocky slopes, in gravelly or sandy soils, below 6,000 ft (1829 m); flowers January-June, and sometimes in autumn. Distribution: s NV, s UT, south through AZ, s NM, sw CO; south to c MEX. Notes: The genus Acourtia in our region is distinguished by being erect perennial composites with woolly bases with brownish-bronze hairs, leathery, sessile or clasping leaves with toothed margins, the teeth often with prickles, and often showy heads with pink, purple or white flowers. A. wrightii is taller than A. nana and does not have roundish, holly-like leaves. It is more similar to A. thurberi, but differs by having narrower leaves, phyllaries (involucral bracts) which lack glands and have somewhat more blunted tips; and more flowers per head (8-12 flowers, compared to 3-6 in A. thurberi). A. wrightii is common in the lower to middle elevations throughout Arizona, especially in the Sonoran Desert. Look for it in foothills and canyons. Ethnobotany: Used in childbirth for difficult labor, as a postpartum medicine, and as an antihemorrhagic. Etymology: Acourtia is named for Mary Elizabeth Catherine Gibbes A-Court (1792-1878), while wrightii is named for the American botanical collector Charles Wright (1811-1885). Synonyms: Perezia wrightii Editor: SBuckley 2010, FSCoburn 2014, AHazelton 2015