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Spring Madia
Madia elegans
About Spring Madia (Madia elegans) Nurseries Show All Photos Spring Madia (Madia elegans) is a native annual herb in the Asteraceae (Sunflower) family that is widespread throughout much of California and northern Baja, excluding the deserts. It tends to grow in open, grassy places, at elevations from sea level to 3,300 feet. The stems and leaves are hairy, exuding a pleasantly aromatic oil which led to the common name Tarweed. The typical composite flowers are variable and consist of yellow ray flowers, sometimes with reddish to burgundy base. The ray flowers curl up during the daytime. The disc flowers can be yellow or darker. The fairly long summer bloom time makes it important for pollinators. The seed is an achene which is edible and was eaten by native people.
Plant Description
Plant Type
Annual herb

Max. Height
0.5 - 1 ft (0.15 - 0.3 m)

Max. Width
.2 -.3 ft (0.1 - 0.1 m)

Fragrant - Pleasant

Growth Rate

Flower Color
Yellow, Red

Flowering Season
Summer, Fall

Native Status

Natural Setting
Site Type
Meadows, openings in woodlands or chaparral, other open, grassy places

Sun, Part Shade

Elevation ?
15' - 12014'

Annual Precip. ?
6.7" - 133.4"

Summer Precip. ?
0.14" - 3.85"

Coldest Month ?
19.9° F - 54.1° F

Hottest Month ?
43.8° F - 79.3° F

Humidity ?
0.09 vpd - 27.93 vpd

Soil Description

Soil PH
5.5 - 7.8

Fast, Medium, Slow

Cold Tolerance(° F)
Tolerates cold to -10° F

Sunset Zones ?
5, 6, 7*, 8*, 9*, 14*, 15*, 16*, 17*, 18*, 19*, 20*, 21*, 22*, 23*, 24*

Companion Plants
Compatible with virtually any native trees, shrubs, and herbs

Wildlife Attracted
The flowers are attractive to numerous insects including bees and butterflies.

Landscaping Information
Water Requirement ?
Extremely Low
Very Low
Moderate - High

Seldom Used

Max. Summer Water ?
No Summer Water
Keep moist

Common uses
Bee Gardens

Nursery Availability
Available Through Seed Stores, Sometimes Available

Other Names
Botanical Names
Madia elegans ssp. vernalis,Madia elegans ssp. elegans,Madia elegans ssp. wheeleri,Madia elegans ssp. densifolia

Common Names
Spring Common Madia, Tarweed

Sources include: Wikipedia. All text shown in the "About" section of these pages is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. Plant observation data provided by the participants of the California Consortia of Herbaria, Sunset information provided by Jepson Flora Project. Propogation from seed information provided by the Santa Barbara Botanical Garden from "Seed Propagation of Native California Plants" by Dara E. Emery. Sources of plant photos include CalPhotos, Wikimedia Commons, and independent plant photographers who have agreed to share their images with Calscape. Other general sources of information include Calflora, CNPS Manual of Vegetation Online, Jepson Flora Project, Las Pilitas, Theodore Payne, Tree of Life, The Xerces Society, and information provided by CNPS volunteer editors, with special thanks to Don Rideout. Climate data used in creation of plant range maps is from PRISM Climate Group, Oregon State University, using 30 year (1981-2010) annual "normals" at an 800 meter spatial resolution.

Links:   Jepson eFlora Taxon Page  CalPhotos  Wikipedia  Calflora

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