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Baccharis halimifolia L.

Common Name(s):
Coyote bush, Groundsel tree, Groundsel tree , Salt marsh elder, Sea myrtle
Categories:
Native Plants, Shrubs
Comment:

Baccharis spp. is in the Asteraceae (daisy) family, and is native to the coastal areas of the eastern US.  There are several similar Baccharis species which form large shrubs or small trees.  Groundsel tree, Baccharis halimifolia, is native to the southeastern US coastal plain, but is spreading.  It is occasionally sold in the nursery trade for its unique foliage and flowering season.  It has brittle wood and is usually multi-trunked.  Foliage is covered with a white waxy layer, making the foliage look grey; seedlings somewhat resembling lambsquarters. In the fall and winter plants may be covered with white to cream colored flower heads.  Seeds are shed in late fall or winter.  Wind dispersed seeds blow into landscapes during the winter months.

It is tolerant to heat, drought, and salt spray.  If desired in the landscape it is best used as filler or on the edge of a natural area.  It can be weedy and if undesired, the seedlings are not well controlled by preemergence herbicides, and selective postemergence controls are not available.  Hand pulling seedlings when small is the best option for removal.

Height:
5-12 ft.
Foliage:
Alternate, simple leaves; 1-3 in.; coarsely toothed; bright green to gray-green; non-showy fall color
Flower:
Female plant is covered with cottony fruit that persists into early winter
Zones:
5-9
Habit:
Semi-evergreen to deciduous
Site:
Sun to partial shade; tolerates range of soil types, even poor fertility and wet sites
Texture:
Medium
Form:
Multi-stemmed, irregular, open, airy shrub; can become leggy
Exposure:
Tolerates a wide range of soil types (wet, dry, brackish)
Fruit:
Female plant covered with shiny, white clouds in fall
Width:
5-7 ft.
Tags:
shade shrub, weed, deciduous, fall color, drought tolerant, gray leaves, full sun, partial shade, evergreen

NCCES plant id: 447

Baccharis halimifolia fall habit
Cotinis, CC BY-NC-SA - 2.0
Baccharis halimifolia feathery seeds
Bob Peterson, CC-BY-SA-2.0
Baccharis halimifolia habit
Forest & Kim Starr, CC BY - 2.0
Baccharis halimifolia leaves
Homer Edward Price, CC BY - 2.0
Baccharis halimifolia Habit
Baccharis halimifolia Leaf
Baccharis halimifolia Inflorescence
Baccharis halimifolia Flower head