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Peruvian zinnia

elegant zinnia, garden zinnia

Habit Annuals, mostly 30–50(–100) cm. Annuals, to 100(–200) cm.

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

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


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

blades 3–5-nerved, ovate to oblong, mostly 60–100 × 20–60 mm, scabrellous to glabrate.


10–50(–70) mm.

to 85 mm.


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

± hemispheric or broader, 10–15 × 5–25 mm.

Ray florets


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

8–21 (more in “double” cultivars);

corollas usually red (white, yellow, or purple in cultivars), laminae spatulate to obovate, 10–35 mm.

Disc florets


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


corollas yellow, 7–9 mm, lobes 1–2.5 mm.


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

obovate, becoming scarious, glabrous or sparsely hairy, apices rounded, erose or fimbriate.


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

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

6–10 mm, 3-angled (ray) or ± compressed (disc), not or faintly ribbed, ciliolate;

pappi 0.


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

red to purple, apices rounded to acute, fimbriate.


= 24.

= 24.

Zinnia peruviana

Zinnia violacea

Phenology Flowering summer–fall. Flowering summer–fall.
Habitat Rocky roadsides, ravines, calcareous soils Disturbed sites
Elevation 1200–1600 m (3900–5200 ft) 0–500? m (0–1600? 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
CT; FL; GA; KY; LA; NC; OH; PA; SC; TX; Mexico; Central America; West Indies (Cuba); South America (Bolivia) [Introduced in North America; also introduced in Asia]

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.)

Zinnia violacea is perhaps adventive in Costa Rica, Panama, Cuba, Bolivia, China, and Malesia. The most widely cultivated Zinnia, it is reported to have escaped from cultivation and apparently naturalized in ten eastern and southern states but is nowhere common in the flora area. It is not as weedy as Z. peruviana, possibly because it lacks awns and thus is not as easily dispersed by animals.

(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. anomala, Z. grandiflora, Z. peruviana
Synonyms Chrysogonum peruvianum, Z. multiflora Z. elegans
Name authority (Linnaeus) Linnaeus: Syst. Nat. ed. 10, 2: 1221. (1759) Cavanilles: Icon. 1: 57, plate 81. (1791)
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