Tarweed - Madia

Family: Aster

Annual, 0.5–25 dm. Stem: erect. Leaf: proximal opposite, often in rosettes, distal alternate, sessile; blades lanceolate or oblong-linear to linear, generally entire, seldom toothed, coarse- to soft-hairy, generally also glandular. Inflorescence: heads generally radiate, occasionally obscurely so (discoid), in flat-topped or panicle-, raceme-, or spike-like clusters; involucre 1–10+ mm diam, generally ± spheric to ovoid or urn-shaped; phyllaries in 1 series, lance-linear to oblanceolate, each mostly or wholly enfolding a subtended ray ovary, falling with fruit, coarse-hairy, generally glandular; receptacle flat to convex, glabrous or minutely bristly; paleae in 1 series between ray and disk flowers, ± fused or free, phyllary-like but more scarious, generally persistent (falling readily in Madia radiata). Ray flower: (0)1–22; corolla generally ± yellow, ray sometimes maroon or ± purple adaxially, proximally, or throughout. Disk flower: 1–80+, bisexual or staminate; corolla generally ± yellow, sometimes ± purple, tube <= throat, lobes deltate; anther ± dark purple or yellow to ± brown, tip oblong to ± ovate or ± semicircular; style glabrous proximal to branches, tips narrowly triangular, hairy. Fruit: ray fruit generally compressed side-to-side, generally ± 3-angled (rarely cylindric), ± club-shaped, often arched, glabrous, tip occasionally beaked, pappus 0; disk fruit 0 or similar to ray fruit, sometimes obovoid, often ± straight, tip not beaked, pappus 0.

10 species: western North America, southern South America; introduced elsewhere. (Native Chilean name) [Baldwin & Strother 2006 FNANM 21:303–308] Generally self-fertile (except Madia elegans and Madia radiata). Other taxa in TJM (1993) moved to Anisocarpus, Harmonia, Hemizonella, Jensia, Kyhosia.
Unabridged disk flower: anther base acute to cordate or sagittate.


Local Species;

  1. Madia exigua - Little tarweed [E-flora]{PCBC][TSFTK]
  2. Madia glomerata - Clustered tarweed [E-flora][PCBC]
  3. Madia gracilis - Slender tarweed [E-flora]
  4. Madia sativa - Chilean tarweed [E-flora][PCBC]


Madia exigua - Little tarweed


Clustered Tarweed - Madia glomerata

Edible Uses

Other Uses

Medicinal Use

Madia gracilis - Slender tarweed


Chilean Tarweed - Madia sativa

Habitat / Range

"Dry roadsides and disturbed areas in the lowland and lower montane zones; infrequent in S BC, possibly introduced; native range from N WA to CA, disjunct in Chile." [IFBC-E-flora]

Edible Uses

Other Uses