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Native Plant of the Week: Groundsel Bush

Family: Asteraceae


Name: Baccharis halimifolia


Bloom Time: September - October


Flower: Silvery white


Soil Condition: Wet to dry, adaptable


Light: Sun-partial shade


Height: 3-12' tall by 5-7' wide


Native Range: Eastern and South-Central United States including Long Island


Zone: 5 to 10

Photos (KMS Native Plants): top row: female flower buds, female flower, second row: male flowers, form


Baccharis halimifolia is an underused, fantastic shrub. It can be used as a perennial (cut it back every year) and it can also be a shrub (no cutting back)! It is salt tolerant and an excellent plant for the hell strip (the space between the sidewalk and the street). Groundsel is a dioecious plant, so you need a male for the females. The best way to do this is to purchase in the fall when they are in flower.

Maintenance: If necessary, you may cut the plant back each year to control the height. The seeds are wind-dispersed.


Benefits: Salt tolerant, drought tolerant, host plant to several moth species, and an excellent nectar source for late-season pollinators, great cover for birds


Fun Facts: Leaves are poisonous to sheep, and female seeds are poisonous. In Southern Louisiana, it has traditionally been used to treat inflamed kidneys.


Companion Plants: Solidago - Goldenrod, Schizachyrium scoparium - Little Blue Stem, Cephalantus occidentalis - Buttonbush, Hibiscus moscheutos - Marsh Mallow, Panicum virgatum - Switch Grass,

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