Saturday, October 24, 2009

Saltbush - Rabbitbush




Early October, bush starts with cream green look, then presses white over the weeks.





This bush is over 9 feet tall.


.





Female plant with very visable white pappus seed hairs.












Male Plant (I initially thought that this was another species, or just a saltbush pre-bloom, but didn't understand why this one bush should be out of sync with the others in the area and with a different distribution "weight". Turns out it is the male of the species, and even had a different smell, much like sage.















Baccharis halimifolia

aka:  Rabbit bush, Salt bush

October 24, 2009  (These are from years past, with some stages more advanced than what we see right now.)


A hearty thanks to Gary Tucker who was able to identify this plant, and who helped me solve another riddle. I had noted plants seemingly of this same species, that appeared to be out of sync with the others, and still green. Turns out they were the males of the species.
Gary writes:
Your plant is saltbush or rabbitbush, Baccharis halimifolia . It is of widespread occurrence in Arkansas w/ exception that it is largely absent from mountain regions of NW Arkansas. Very common in Arkansas River Valley, coastal plain, and Delta regions. There are male and female plants. The colorful plants with an abundance of white are the female plants, with the white representing a group of hairs (called the pappus) on the seeds. The male plants are typically growing among the female plants but are not showy because they lack the white hairs on the seeds.

Thank you,

Gary E. Tucker, PhD
Senior Botanist
FTN Associates, Ltd.


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