Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center
Southern Wetland Flora
Field Office Guide to Plant Species
Baccharis halimifolis L.
- Family: Aster (Asteraceae)
- Flowering: August-November
- Field Marks: This woody member of the aster family may reach a height of 10 feet. The
flower heads are subtended by toothless leaves, while the rest of the leaves on the stem are
- Habitat: Moist soil, particularly in low areas in wetlands; recently spreading to disturbed sites
- Habit: Shrub, with the male flowers and female flowers borne on separate plants.
- Stems: Erect, branched, smooth or slightly roughened, up to 10 feet tall.
- Leaves: Of two kinds: those subtending the flowering heads elliptic, rounded or slightly pointed
at the tip, toothless, smooth; those lower on the stern elliptic-ovate to ovate, pointed at the tip,
coarsely toothed, smooth, up to 3 inches long.
- Flowers: Many crowded together into heads, all very narrowly tubular, whitish, with several
flowers per head; each head up to 1/8 inch long, subtended by narrow, green-tipped bracts.
- Sepals: 0.
- Petals: Whitish, narrowly tubular, 5-lobed.
- Stamens: 5.
- Pistils: Ovary inferior.
- Fruits: Achenes flattened, ribbed, very small, subtended by white hairs called the pappus.
- Notes: Because of the conspicuous white hairs surrounding each seed, this plant is sometimes
known as the cottonseed tree. The whole bush may appear white in the early fall because of the
numerous, fluffy, white seeds.
Previous Species -- Salt-water False-willow (Baccharis angustifolia)
Return to Species List -- Group 5
Next Species -- Gum Bumelia (Bumelia lanuginosa)