Colorado Plant Database

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COMMON RABBITBRUSH - Chrysothamnus nauseosus

Meaning: provides cover for wild rabbits.
Other Common Names: rabbitbrush, rubber rabbitbrush
Scientific Name: Chrysothamnus nauseosus
Derivation: nauseosus - heavy scented.
Family: Sunflower - Asteraceae
Species Characteristics: irregular globe shape with woody based stems with herbaceous tips. Pappus (appendages at the tip of the ovary) with numerous capillary (thread-like) bristles; phyllaries (flower head bracts - small leaf-like structures) imbricated (overlapping, like shingles), in vertical rows, obtuse (blunt) to acute (pointed); twigs covered with a feltlike tomentum (wooly hairs).
Mature Height: 2 to 6 feet.
Mature Spread: 2 to 4 feet.
Flower Color: yellow
Flower Cluster: composite, disk flowers only in a head.
Fruit Color: White
Fruit Type: plumose (feather-like) achene (small, dry, indehiscent - does not open upon maturity - fruit with a thin close-fitting wall surrounding a single seed).
Leaf Type: simple (not divided into similar parts).
Leaf/Leaflet Shape: linear (flat and narrow with parallel margins).
Origin: native
Frequency: common
Growth Form: shrub
Life Cycle: perennial
Class: angiosperm (plant with covered seed).
SubClass: dicot (plants with two seed leaves and netted leaf veins).
Season of Bloom: late summer to early fall (Aug. - Sep.).
Life Zone: plains/foothills.
Habitat: dry open sites from 5,000 - 9,000 feet elevation.
Eco. Relationships: attracts bees and butterflies; may be indicator of overgrazing; important winter elk browse; also eaten by mountain sheep and mule deer.

Origin: native

Availability: commonly available.
Landscaping Use: showy late summer flowers and attractive fluffy seed clusters; useful as a background or accent in dry areas and south facing slopes.
Moisture Requirement: very low; can survive without irrigation but requires removal of older stems.
Light Requirement: full sun.
Soil Requirement: clay loam to sandy loam, pH 7.0 to 8.5, moderate depth, dry, well-drained, alkaline.

Fiber/Dye: yellow dye.
Other Uses: contains rubber, but not of commercial value.

Version: 3.0.0      Release Date: August 2015       ©2015 Jefferson County ITS

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