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BACCHARIS halimifolia

Image of Baccharis halimifolia

Jesse Saylor

Family

Asteraceae

Botanical Name

BACCHARIS halimifolia

Plant Common Name

Bush Groundsel, Cottonseed Tree, Sea Myrtle

Special Notice

This entry has yet to be reviewed and approved by L2G editors.

General Description

A puffy-seeded shrub that handles dry and wet soils as well as salty groung, bush groundsel is its prettiest in summer and autumn. Typically evergreen in milder climates, this billowy plant has upright to arching stems that is often lax and floppy, but more rounded shrubs are encountered. It is native to the United States from Massachusetts to Texas as well as in nearby Mexico and the West Indies.

Softly light green, the foliage is small oval leaves with irregular, jae\gged edges. Plants are dioecious - either male or female in gender. In late summer into autumn, each plant type bears cloud-like clusters of tiny flowers that attract bees, butterflies and other insects. Male shrubs bear light yellow blossoms, females ivory-white. Only the female shrubs bear the fluffy ivory-silver seeds that are like cotton. Wind disperses the seeds. In cold climates the foliage drops when frosty temperatures occur. The bark is gray-sandy brown with crossing ridges.

Grow bush groundsel in full to partial shade in any fertile soil, dry or moist, inland or near the seacoast. It is tolerant of heat and moderate drought. It can spread itself by seed into wastelands with relative ease. Use it as a windbreak (albeit brittle and floppy) in coastal areas or best in a mixed border among grasses and other shrubs with late summer or autumn interest. For the beautiful seedheads, ensure both a male and female plant are in relative proximity.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    8 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    3 - 8

  • Sunset Zone

    A3, 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21

  • Plant Type

    Shrub

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun

  • Height

    5'-10' / 1.5m - 3.0m

  • Width

    5'-12' / 1.5m - 3.7m

  • Bloom Time

    Late Summer, Early Fall

  • Native To

    United States, Northeastern United States, Mid-Atlantic United States, Southeastern United States, South-Central United States, Texas, Mexico, Caribbean

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Average

  • Soil type

    Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Wet Site, Drought, Salt

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Arching/Fountain-shaped

  • Seasonal Interest

    Summer, Fall, Winter

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Light Yellow, Ivory

  • Fruit Color

    Ivory, Silver

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Light Green, Sea Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Light Green, Sea Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Light Green, Sea Green, Gray Green

  • Foliage Color (Winter)

    Light Green, Gray Green

  • Bark Color

    Sandy Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    No

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    Yes

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    No

  • Showy Foliage

    Yes

  • Foliage Texture

    Fine

  • Foliage Sheen

    Glossy

  • Evergreen

    Yes

  • Showy Bark

    Yes

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Fissured

  • Usage

    Mixed Border, Rock Garden / Wall, Screening / Wind Break

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    Sometimes

  • Attracts

    Butterflies

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes