Tag Archives: Coyote brush

Plant of the day: coyote brush

Small white flowers are beginning to bud and bloom on a sweet-smelling bush of the chaparral. This is coyote brush, or Baccharis pilularis. For some reason that I can’t put my finger on, I find this a particularly charming plant. Its small leaves are scalloped at the edges and rough (and sometimes sticky) to the touch. On hot days, you can tell it’s nearby just from the resinous, pleasant smell.

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Coyote brush blooms in late summer and early fall, and bears its male and female flowers on separate plants (the botanical word for this is “dioecious”, as opposed to most plants which are “monoecious” and have their male and female parts on the same plant, usually in the same flower).

You can find coyote brush growing from Baja California to Tillamook County, Oregon; from coastal scrub to foothill forests. Generally its an upright shrub, but along the coast it can also grow in a prostrate form that once was (but no longer is) considered a different species.

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