The Mojave aster is a member of the sunflower family (Asteraceae). It's a shrubby plant which can grow up to 30 inches high. The stems are gray-green and long. It has whitish-green to silverish-green, narrow, hairy leaves. They are about 3 inches long, and have small spike-like points on their edges .
Its flowers have narrow purple to lavender rays surrounding a yellow disk. The flower can get to be up to 2 inches in diameter. They usually bloom in March and May but will on occasion also bloom in the fall. It may get as many as 20 blooms. After flowering, the plant dies back.
The Mojave Aster grows in the Sonoran, Great Basin and Mojave deserts of southeastern California. It tends to grow in creosote scrub growths on rocky slopes, in canyons or dry, flat areas at about 2,000 to 5,500 feet.
The Great Basin Desert is colder than the Mojave Desert and the Sonoran Desert is very hot and dry. Although it grows in all three deserts, it grows abundantly in the Mojave.
http://desertusa.com/mag98/oct/papr/mojaster.html, (Nov. 2001).
"Desert Tortoise Natural Area Virtual Field Trip - The Plant Loop trail", http://www.tortoise-tracks.org/dtna/plantloop.html, (Nov. 2001).