Amphiachyris dracunculoides (synonym: Xanthocephalum draunculoides) (synonym: Gutierrezia draunculoides)
• Also known as “Prairie broomweed”
• Adapted to sandy, clayey, gravelly or rocky soils in disturbed or overgrazed areas and along roadsides.
• Flowers September to December.
• One of the predominant flowers of fall, often being quite conspicuous as it covers acres of overgrazed pasture and rangeland. More commonly reflects wet autumns and wet winters. At the time of blooming almost all the leaves have dropped from the plant, leaving the stalk and branches bare except for the small yellow flowers.
• Is toxic to livestock and may cause an inflammation of the eyes in both humans and livestock.
• Early settlers gathered these plants, tied them together on a stick, and used them as a broom, hence the common name.
• Provides good cover for ground-nesting birds during the bloom stage.