Brittle Bush


Scientific Name: Encelia farinosa

Common Name: Brittlebush

Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family

Duration: Perennial, The leaves drop off during        periods of drought and after heavy frosts.

Size:1 to 3 feet or more tall and as wide.

Growth Form: Shrub or subshrub; rounded, multiple branching, brittle stems exude resin or gum, new stems tomentose (covered with densely matted woolly hairs), older stems with smooth bark.

Leaves: Whitish or silvery-gray, tomentose, shape   variable, lanceolate to ovate, petioles, lower leaves  deciduous.

Flower Color: Yellow, showy fragrant radiate heads up to 2 inches, flower head clusters on tips of stems      extend well above the plant, ray flowers 10 to 20, disk flowers yellow, brown or purplish, long stem-like inflorescence with paniculiform or cymose arrays (most of branching occurs distally, peduncles, mostly   glabrous, phyllaries lanceolate.

Flowering Season: February to May and again from August to September; or this species may bloom throughout the year following sufficient monsoon   rainfall.

Comments: Brittlebush is one of the most common yellow flowered silvery-gray bushes in lower deserts. Brittlebush is aptly named as the branches are easily snapped off because of brittle stems. Brittlebush is known to hybridize with Geraea canescens.