Asteraceae-Baccharis2017-08-16T09:42:28+00:00

   Asteraceae: Sunflower Family – Astereae Tribe: Baccharis

The Sunflower family is a very large family with over 25,000 members.  Botanists subdivide the family into a number of tribes of which 14 are represented in Monterey County, one of these, the Heliantheae or Sunflower tribe, being further broken down into subtribes of which 9 are represented in Monterey  County. The Astereae (Aster tribe) includes a diverse range of  plants some of which have clearly daisy-like flowers and others (such as Baccharis) which do not but serve to emphasize the very varied appearance of members of the Sunflower family.

Coyote Brush – Baccharis pilularis subsp. consanguinea

Blooms:

July–Dec

Plant Height:

10–45 dm

Flower Size:

Small clusters

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Scrub or chaparral

Notes:

Extremely common medium-sized shrub with small, tough leaves. The plant is dioecious with male and female flowers borne on separate plants. The female flowers are white and slender and the male flowers are stubbier, creamy yellow with disk flowers only. Small growths are often found at or near the tips of young branches; these are galls although they are often mistaken for flower buds.

Dwarf Coyote Brush – Baccharis pilularis subsp. pilularis

Blooms:

July–Dec

Plant Height:

10–45 dm

Flower Size:

Small clusters

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Sandy beaches, coastal bluffs

Notes:

Similar in general appearance to the normal Coyote Brush, but the leaves are smaller (5–15 mm as against 15–40 mm), the growth habit is prostrate to mat-forming and the branches are more flexible with the branchlets mostly turned to one side.

Mule Fat – Baccharis salicifolia subsp. salicifolia

Blooms:

Mar–July

Plant Height:

< 4 m

Flower Size:

Small cluster

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Riparian woodland

Notes:

A comparatively tall, slender shrub, the leaves resemble those of certain Willows (hence the scientific name of the species). Flowers (male and female on separate plants) are very similar to those of other Baccharis, except that both flowers have a distinct pinkish tinge. The long straights woody stems were used as drills when making fire the old-fashioned way.

Marsh / Douglas' Baccharis -  Baccharis glutinosa

Blooms:

July–Oct

Plant Height:

< 20 dm

Flower Size:

Small clusters

Origin:

Native

Habitat:

Coastal marshes and streambanks

Notes:

Perennial, not shrubby. The leaves are similar to those of the Mule Fat, slender and willow-like. The male flowers are whiter and stubbier than the female flowers which have noticeably pink phyllaries. Fruits are glandular and hairy at the tip.