Trixis californica is native to the southwestern United States in California, Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas, and in Mexico in the states of Baja California, Chihuahua, Coahuila, Durango, Nuevo León, Sinaloa, Sonora, Tamaulipas, and Zacatecas.
It is one of 22 species in Trixis, a genus that occurs in North America, Central America, the West Indies, northern Argentina, Uruguay, and southern Brazil.
A sprawling shrub or subshrub with flower heads with about 15 bright yellow flowers each. The inflorescence is terminal, usually a panicle or corymb, but sometimes the heads are borne singly at the tips of branches. Leaves are lance-shaped (lanceolate), dark green, 2–11 cm long, and 0.5–3 cm wide. This species occurs from sea level to 5000 feet in elevation. Its habitat types include rocky hillsides, thorn scrub, and desert washes and brush. In the western Sonoran Desert it is exclusive to washes and only grows amongst other plants. In the Colorado Desert it grows in creosote scrub. It grows in scrub in the Yuma Desert, east of the Colorado River. Though it usually flowers between February and October, it may bloom nearly year-round depending on winter weather conditions.