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Rayjacksonia aurea

Rayjacksonia aurea

Rayjacksonia aurea is a species of flowering plant in the aster family known by the common names Houston tansyaster[1] and Houston camphor daisy. It is endemic to Texas in the United States, where it is known only from the Houston area. It is limited to Galveston and Harris Counties.[2][3]

Rayjacksonia aurea

Imperiled  (NatureServe)
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Plantae
Clade: Tracheophytes
Clade: Angiosperms
Clade: Eudicots
Clade: Asterids
Order: Asterales
Family: Asteraceae
Genus: Rayjacksonia
R. aurea
Binomial name
Rayjacksonia aurea
(A.Gray) R.L.Hartm. & M.A.Lane
  • Machaeranthera aurea


This species is an annual herb which generally remains small in its native habitat but in cultivation may be much larger.[3] It grows from a taproot. The small leaves are linear or lance-shaped and just a few millimeters wide. The flower heads contain several yellow ray florets which may reach nearly a centimeter in length.[4] The plant has a scent like camphor. Flowering occurs in October and November.[3]

Distribution and habitat

This plant grows on the Texas coastal prairie, especially on Mima mounds and in open areas such as fields and pastures.[5] It prefers sandy soils or loams, and typically grows in areas that are seasonally wet or are poorly drained.[5] The plant may occur with other rare local endemics, such as Texas windmill grass and prairie dawn.[5]


The species is currently classified as imperiled, and fewer than 20 populations remain.[3] The species and its habitat are threatened by development and expansion of the Houston metropolitan area, as well as from competition from woody vegetation and non-native grasses.[2][5]


  1. USDA, NRCS (n.d.). "Rayjacksonia aurea". The PLANTS Database ( Greensboro, North Carolina: National Plant Data Team. Retrieved 19 October 2015.
  2. Machaeranthera aurea. The Nature Conservancy.
  3. Rayjacksonia aurea. Center for Plant Conservation.
  4. Rayjacksonia aurea. Flora of North America.
  5. "Comprehensive Report Species - Machaeranthera aurea". Retrieved 2019-10-28.
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