California Broomsage

California Broomsage Plant Information

California Broomsage grows in the following 2 states:

Arizona, California

Lepidospartum squamatum is a species of flowering shrub in the daisy family known by the common names California broomsage and scale broom.

It is native to the mountains, valleys, and deserts of central and southern California, and Baja California. It grows in sandy, gravelly soils in a number of habitat types, especially dry alluvial habitat such as arroyos. It is considered an indicator species for the alluvial scrub habitat type in this region. It is also known from neighboring Arizona.
Lepidospartum squamatum is a large shrub often exceeding two meters in height which takes a spreading, rounded form, its branches coated in woolly fibers and stubby leaves no more than 3 millimeters long.
The inflorescence is a single flower head or small cluster of up to 5 heads at the ends of branches. The heads are discoid, bearing many yellow tubular disc florets and no ray florets. The fruit is a narrow achene a few millimeters long with a dull white to light brown pappus on top. While in bloom, scale broom will attract a wide variety of pollinators, including bees, butterflies, moths, and tarantula hawk wasps.
As the fruits mature and the flower parts fall away the inflorescence takes on a cottony look due to all the pappi.

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