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Poverty Weed



Iva axillaris




Common: Death Weed


Western half of US

  • E Washington southward to S California
  • S California eastward to NW Texas
  • NW Texas northward to W Minnesota
  • W Minnesota westward to E Washington


Poverty weed is found in saline or alkaline areas in much of the western half of the country. It is widespread in the Great Plains but inhabits many intermountain valleys westward, avoiding some of the hot desert areas, mountainous areas above 7500 feet, and the humid areas of the West Coast. It is a low-growing, multi-branched plant that may reach 2 feet in height. The leaves, varying in size but usually about an inch or two in length, are somewhat rounded at the ends, and appear to be attached directly to the stems without a petiole, and may be oppositely or alternately arranged. The rather inconspicuous greenish flowers, occurring from May through September, are located in the leaf axils. Although the flowers are wind-pollinated, this species is of rather modest importance in causing allergy.