Whitestem Paperflower

Whitestem Paperflower (Psilostrophe cooperi) blooms both in the spring and then again during the summer monsoon season here in Southern Arizona. These subshrubs (small shrubs) are abundant and widespread throughout the Tucson area.

Whitestem Paperflower (Psilostrophe cooperi)

This plant is called paperflower because the brilliant yellow flowers dry on the plant, becoming a pale cream color with a crisp, papery texture. When the wind blows, Whitestem Paperflowers bearing large numbers of dried flowers make a sound very much like surreptitious paper rustling. The flowers dry fairly quickly, so you are often able to find both recently dried and fresh flowers mixed together on the same plant, as shown in the above photograph.