An Illustrated Guide to ARIZONA WEEDS

The University of Arizona Press

ANNUAL GOLDENEYE

Illustration

SUNFLOWER FAMILY-Compositae

ANNUAL GOLDENEYE-viguiera annua (Jones) Blake

DESCRIPTION-Annual goldeneye is a bushy, sparingly leafy annual, 1 to 3 1/2 feet high, reproducing only by seed. The slender stems are reddish brown and many branched, with the leaves spaced far apart. The narrow leaves are mostly opposite, 1 to 3 inches long, and only 1/16 to 1/8 inch broad.

There are numerous yellow flower heads, about 1 inch broad, including the 12 bright yellow, outer, petallike ray flowers, and the small central (disk) flowers. The heads are sunflowerlike, and are borne at the tips of all the branches. The slender topshaped achenes are blackish, 4-angled, and about l/16 inch long. They bear no crown of scales nor bristles of any type.

DISTRIBUTION-A native range weed, annual goldeneye is found on open disturbed soil on ridges, plains, and bottomlands, where it replaces valuable forage plants on run-down ranges. Abundant in pinyon-juniper woodland and desert grasslands throughout the state, except in the western part; 2,500 to 8,000 feet elevation. It is especially prolific in Yavapai, eastern Mohave, Santa Cruz, and Cochise counties, where it may occur in solid yellow stands, beautifying large areas several miles long, particularly in early fall after the summer rains; flowering from May to October. but mostly in September and October.

POISONOUS PROPERTIES-Although cattle losses do occur from eating annual goldeneye, little is known about the actual nature of the poison, nor are the conditions necessary for poisoning understood. Animals may consume large amounts with no harm, and at other times small quantities may be fatal. From the symptoms, either nitrate or cyanide poisoning is suspected. Cattle are the only livestock affected. Poisoning usually occurs in the fall when annual goldeneye growth is at its peak.

Copyright (c) 1972 The Arizona Board of Regents



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