Page authors: Don Knoke, David Giblin
Madia gracilis
grassy tarplant, common tarweed, slender tarweed

Distribution: Occurring on both sides of the Cascades crest in Washington; British Columbia to California, east to Montana, Idaho, Nevada, and Utah.

Habitat: Dry, open areas from shrub-steppe to middle elevations in the mountains.

Flowers: June-August

Origin: Native

Growth Duration: Annual

Conservation Status: Not of concern

Pollination: Bumblebees, bees, beetles, moths


Tar-scented, rough-hairy annual, 1-10 dm. tall, often the whole upper part of the plant covered with conspicuous stalked glands.


Leaves linear to linear-oblong, 2-11 cm. long and 1-10 mm. wide.


Heads in a raceme, or multiple racemes in plants with branched stems; involucre ovoid, 6-11 mm. high and 5-10 mm. wide, its bracts in a single series and of equal length; rays 5-13, typically 8, 4-7 mm. long, pistillate and fertile, yellow, their achenes enclosed by the involucral bracts; disk flowers fertile, yellow, separated from the ray flowers by a row of bracts; pappus none.


Achenes flattened.

Accepted Name:
Madia gracilis (Sm.) D.D. Keck
Publication: MadroƱo. 5: 169. 1940.

Synonyms & Misapplications:
Madia gracilis (Sm.) D.D. Keck ssp. gracilis
Additional Resources:

PNW Herbaria: Specimen records of Madia gracilis in the Consortium of Pacific Northwest Herbaria database

WA Flora Checklist: Madia gracilis checklist entry

OregonFlora: Madia gracilis information

E-Flora BC: Madia gracilis atlas page

CalPhotos: Madia gracilis photos

42 photographs:
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