Rabbitbrush (6)

The common name Rabbitbrush is applied to the Ericameria, Chrysothamnus and Lorandersonia genus. All have golden yellow disk flowers but otherwise have very different characteristics.

Chrysothamnus nauseous

Rubber Rabbitbrush
Ericameria nauseosa (Chrysothamnus nauseous)

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA:Chamisa, Goldenbush
Photo taken on: August 13, 2008
Location: White Rock, NM
Life Zones: Plains to foothills
Habitat: Disturbed areas, roadsides

A common shrub growing from 2 to 9 feet high and wide. There are a lot of varieties, 21, according to Flora of North America. Some have leaves and twigs covered in a grey felt, others are greener. Some lose their leaves at flowering time, others do not.  Some bloom in July and have shed their seeds when others are blooming in September and October providing vivid color and a pollen source for insects late in the summer. Typically it has whitish to green flexible stems, and narrow, grayish-green leaves. The flower heads are clusters of lemon-yellow to golden disk flowers which have a pungent smell when crushed.

Flora of North America reference. arrow

Chrysothamnus nauseousChrysothamnus nauseous
Chrysothamnus nauseous

Rubber Rabbitbrush
Ericameria nauseosa (Chrysothamnus nauseous)

Photo taken on: March 14, 2016
Location: Abiquiu, NM

It is not uncommon to see these cottony galls on Rabbitbrush. These do not appear to damage the plant. The flies responsible are Aciurina bigeloviae and other Aciurina species, small "picture-winged" flies. Larvae are pale-colored maggots found within plant galls.

Chrysothamnus parryi

Mountain Rabbitbrush
Ericameria parryi (Chrysothamnus parryi)

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA: Parry's Rabbitbrush
Photo taken on: September 4, 2005
Location:  Walrod Gulch, GV, CO
Life Zones: Foothills to montane
Habitat: Open woods, meadows

Grows to 2 feet with long, narrow leaves and larger flowers than the other Rabbitbrush growing in a long cluster.

Flora of North America reference.

Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus

Green Rabbitbrush
Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA: Sticky Rabbitbrush, Yellow Rabbitbrush
Photo taken on: September 4, 2005
Location: Walrod Gulch, GV, CO
Life Zones: Foothills to subalpine
Habitat: Meadows, sagebrush, woodlands

Distinguished by its twisted green leaves. It grows from knee-high to about 3 feet. The base of the flowers and leaves are sticky.

Flora of North America reference.

Chrysothamnus greenei

Greene's Rabbitbrush
Chrysothamnus greenei

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA:
Photo taken on: August 12, 2014
Location: Ghost Ranch, Abiquiu, NM
Life Zones: Plains and foothills
Habitat: Sandy open areas, washes

Grows to 20" high with upright green stems and bark that becomes shreddy and grey with age. Leaves are very narrow and greyish-green. Flowers are in dense clusters.

Flora of North America reference.

Chrysothamnus vaseyi

Vasey's Rabbitbrush
Chrysothamnus vaseyi

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA:
Photo taken on: August 10, 2016
Location: Plaza Blanca, Abiquiu, NM
Life Zones: Plains and foothills
Habitat: Sandy open areas, washes

Grows to 2 feet high with green stems that become tan. The narrow leaves are spreading and are not sticky or twisted. Flowers are in a tight cluster at the top of the stem. It's compact growth habit distinguishes it from Common Rabbitbrush.

Flora of North America reference.

Lorandersonia linifolia

Spearleaf Rabbitbrush
Lorandersonia linifolia

Family: Sunflower (Asteraceae)
AKA:
Photo taken on: July 20, 2016
Location: By the Rio Chama, Abiquiu, NM
Life Zones: Plains and foothills
Habitat: Moist, alkaline areas, riverbanks

Grows from 2 to 12 feet high with green stems that become tan to gray. The leaves are about ¼" wide and have a prominent mid-vein and two fainter parallel veins. Flowers grow in a flat-topped cluster at the top of the stem. It's wide green leaves distinguish it from Common Rabbitbrush.

Flora of North America reference.

Yellow Round Clusters