Brittlebush

Brittlebush Plant Information


Brittlebush grows in the following 5 states:

Arizona, Utah, California, Hawaii, Nevada

The common name "brittlebush" comes from the brittleness of its stems. Other names include hierba del vaso (Spanish) and cotx (Seri). Another Spanish name for it is incienso because the dried sap was burned by early Spanish missions in the New World as incense.Encelia farinosa (commonly known as brittlebush or brittlebrush), is a common desert shrub of northern Mexico (Baja California, Baja California Sur, Sonora, Sinaloa, and Hidalgo) and the southwestern United States (California, Arizona, Utah, and Nevada).

E. farinosa can be found in a variety of habitats from dry, gravelly slopes to open, sandy washes up to 1,000m (3,300ft). It requires a very sunny position in a deep very well-drained soil. It does well in cultivation often being used for border, erosion control, ground cover and massing and recently has spread dramatically in areas not natural to its distribution in large part because Caltrans has begun to use it in hydroseeding.
Brittlebush grows up to 30 to 150cm (12 to 59in) tall, with fragrant leaves 3-8cm long, ovate to deltoid, and silvery tomentose. The capitula are 3.0-3.5cm in diameter, with orange-yellow ray florets and yellow or purple-brown disc florets. They are arranged in loose panicles above the leafy stems fruit 3-6mm and no pappus is seen.
3-Acetyl-6-methoxybenzaldehyde is found in the leaves of E. farinosa.
Two varieties of E. farinosa are recognized by Flora of North America.
Varieties formerly included E. f. var. radians, now regarded as a separate species E. radians Brandegee.
Brittlebush has a long history of uses by indigenous and pioneer peoples.

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