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Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn
Baccharis halimifolia L.
Groundseltree, Sea-myrtle, Consumptionweed, Eastern baccharis, Groundsel, Groundsel bush, Salt marsh-elder, Salt bush, Florida groundsel bush
Synonym(s): Baccharis halimifolia var. angustior
USDA Symbol: baha
USDA Native Status: L48 (N)
Groundseltree or sea myrtle’s numerous branches from short trunks are covered densely with branchlets. The 6-12 ft. , deciduous shrub bears gray-green, somewhat lobed, oval leaves which are semi-persistent in the North. White to green flowers occur in small, dense, terminal clusters. Probably the most significant landscape feature is the silvery, plume-like achenes which appear in the fall on female plants resembling silvery paintbrushes.
Apparently extending its natural range inland from the coastal plain, Florida Groundsel Bush is the only native eastern species of the aster family reaching tree size. Baccharis is the ancient Greek name (derived from the god Bacchus) of a plant with fragrant roots. The Latin species name means with the leaves of Halimus, an old name for Saltbush, an unrelated shrub. Tolerant of saltwater spray, this handsome ornamental is one of the few eastern shrubs suitable for planting near the ocean.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Shrub Leaf Retention: Semi-evergreen Leaf Arrangement: Alternate Breeding System:
, Dioecious Size Notes:
Height to 15 feet. Leaf:
Dark Green Autumn Foliage:
Flowers 1/4 inch
Silvery white Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct
, VA Native Distribution:
Mex. & e. TX
n. to coast of MA; believed to have once been restricted to the outer Coastal Plain, but now widely spread inland Native Habitat:
Salt marshes; shores; wet, disturbed places
Growing ConditionsWater Use: High
Light Requirement: Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Wet
Soil pH: Circumneutral (pH 6.8-7.2)
CaCO3 Tolerance: Low
Soil Description: Wet to droughty, gravel to fine sands. Sandy Loam, Sandy, Acid-based.
Conditions Comments: No disease or insect problems, but the weak wood is easily broken. Fast-growing. Salt tolerant.
BenefitUse Ornamental: Showy, Erosion control
Use Wildlife: Cover, Nectar-bees, Nectar-butterflies, Nectar-moths, Nectar-insects, Seeds-granivorous birds
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
PropagationDescription: Increase by sowing seed or taking cuttings in summer. Germinating seeds under mist or a plastic tent is recommended in some sources. Others suggest sowing seeds in sandy seed beds in fall or early spring.
Seed Collection: Not Available
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
National Wetland Indicator Status
This information is derived from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers National Wetland Plant List, Version 3.1
(Lichvar, R.W. 2013. The National Wetland Plant List: 2013 wetland ratings. Phytoneuron 2013-49: 1-241). Click here
for map of regions.
From the National Suppliers Directory
According to the inventory provided by Associate Suppliers, this plant is available at the following locations:
Edge of the Woods Native Plant Nursery
- Orefield, PA
From the National Organizations Directory
According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is either on display or available from the following:
- Picayune, MSNatural Biodiversity
- Johnstown, PA
Record Last Modified: 2011-05-17
Research By: TWC Staff