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Peruvian zinnia

shortray zinnia

Habit Annuals, mostly 30–50(–100) cm. Subshrubs, to 12 cm (rounded).

greenish, becoming purplish or yellowish, unbranched or sparingly branched distal to bases, strigose.

yellowish, much branched, strigose.


blades 3–5-nerved, ovate to elliptic or broadly lanceolate, 25–70 × 8–35 mm, scabrellous.

blades 1- or 3-nerved, linear, 15–30 × 1–4 mm, strigose.


10–50(–70) mm.

to 25 mm.


narrowly to broadly campanulate, 9–18 × 10–20 mm.

broadly cylindric, 8–10 × 8–10 mm.

Ray florets


corollas usually scarlet red or maroon, sometimes yellow, laminae linear to spatulate, 8–25 mm.

0 or 5–8;

corollas yellow, laminae suborbiculate to ovate, 0–6(–9) mm.

Disc florets


corollas yellow, 5–6 mm, lobes ca. 1 mm.

ca. 20;

corollas reddish, 5.5–6.2 mm, lobes 1 mm.


obovate to oblong, becoming scarious, glabrous, apices rounded, usually entire or erose, sometimes ciliate.

round to oblong, becoming scarious, appressed-hairy distally, apices rounded, ciliate.


7–10 mm, 3-angled (ray) or compressed (disc), ribbed, ciliate;

pappi usually of 1 stout awn 4–6 mm (from shoulders of cypselae).

7–8 (ray) or 3–6 mm (disc), 3-angled (ray) or compressed (disc), ribbed, distally ciliate or scabrellous;

pappi usually of 2 or 3 equal or unequal awns.


red to purple or yellow, apices obtuse, erose or subentire.

yellowish (often red-tipped), apices obtuse, erose.


= 24.

= ca. 48, ca. 84.

Zinnia peruviana

Zinnia anomala

Phenology Flowering summer–fall. Flowering spring–fall.
Habitat Rocky roadsides, ravines, calcareous soils Open, rocky roadsides, disturbed sites
Elevation 1200–1600 m (3900–5200 ft) 200–1500 m (700–4900 ft)
from FNA
AZ; FL; GA; NC; SC; Mexico; Central America; South America; West Indies (Hispaniola) [Introduced in Asia (China), South Africa, Australia]
[WildflowerSearch map]
[BONAP county map]
from FNA
TX; Mexico (Coahuila, Nuevo León, Zacatecas)
[BONAP county map]

Zinnia peruviana is presumably native in southern Arizona and reported as naturalized in southeastern United States.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

A. M. Torres (1963) speculated that Zinnia anomala, which often lacks rays or has inconspicuous rays, might be an octoploid derivative of the rather similar Z. grandiflora, which has showy yellow rays.

(Discussion copyrighted by Flora of North America; reprinted with permission.)

Source FNA vol. 21, p. 73. FNA vol. 21, p. 73.
Parent taxa Asteraceae > tribe Heliantheae > subtribe Ecliptinae > Zinnia Asteraceae > tribe Heliantheae > subtribe Ecliptinae > Zinnia
Sibling taxa
Z. acerosa, Z. anomala, Z. grandiflora, Z. violacea
Z. acerosa, Z. grandiflora, Z. peruviana, Z. violacea
Synonyms Chrysogonum peruvianum, Z. multiflora
Name authority (Linnaeus) Linnaeus: Syst. Nat. ed. 10, 2: 1221. (1759) A. Gray: Smithsonian Contr. Knowl. 3(5): 106. plate 10. (1852)
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