UACES Facebook Groundsel Bush

Groundsel Bush

December 2005

QuestionWould you know what the small bushy trees along many roadsides and ditches are with narrow willow-type leaves and in November are covered in tiny white blooms? I had one that came up in my back yard in Maumelle this spring and it grew to 6 feet by the end of this season! I was wondering if I need to cut it down, thanks!

 

AnswerThis is a common question every year. The plant in question is the Groundsel Bush, or Baccharis halimifolia. This native plant can be found commonly in the southern half of Arkansas. It is extremely showy this year. It is dioecious which means there are separate male and female plants. The showy one is the female, and the white color is actually silky hairs, much like you see on dandelion flowers. Female flowers will have many of these white bristles or hairs, while the male flowers will have few. They are fairly weedy looking until they begin their fall bloom. They have not been known to be that weedy in the U.S., but are considered a noxious weed in Australia. The jury is still out as to the groundsel's place in the home landscape. Watch it for a year or two and see if it spreads.


 

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