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Loughmiller, Campbell and Lynn
Gutierrezia sarothrae (Pursh) Britt. & Rusby
Broom snakeweed, Kindlingweed, Matchbrush, Texas snakeweed, Broomweed, Turpentine weed
Synonyms: Xanthocephalum sarothrae
USDA Symbol: gusa2
USDA Native Status: Native to U.S.
Kindlingweed or broom snakeweed is a 1-3 ft. sub-shrub with many slender, branching stems. Tiny, yellow flowers cluster in tufts at ends of branches. Foliage is yellow-green and thread-like. Lower leaves are often shed by the time of flowering. Stems are mostly of the same height, producing a yellow-domed, fan-shaped plant when in flower. Many slender green branches form a round shrublet with hundreds of tiny yellow flower heads in loose clusters.
A very similar species, Little-head Snakeweed (G. microcephala), which may grow in the same area, has 1-3 ray flowers and 1-3 disk flowers. As with many aromatic plants, this species was used medicinally, occasionally as a treatment for snakebite; hence the name Snakeweed. Bundled, dried stems made primitive brooms, hence Broom. It has also been called Matchweed and Matchbush, in reference to the match-like flower heads. This plant poses serious problems as a range weed. More frequent under improper range management, it now covers thousands of square miles of once good grassland.
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial Habit: Herb Leaf:
Flowers 1/4 inch
Fruit: Size Class:
Bloom InformationBloom Color: Yellow
Bloom Time: Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov
AZ , CA , CO , ID , KS , MN , MT , ND , NE , NM , NV , NY , OK , OR , SD , TX , UT , WA , WY Canada: AB
, SK Native Distribution:
Sask. to extreme s.e. WA, s. to w. TX & CA; also n. Mex. Native Habitat:
Dry, open, calcareous mesas, plains & disturbed areas USDA Native Status: L48(N), CAN(N)
Growing ConditionsWater Use:
Medium Light Requirement:
Part Shade Soil Moisture:
Dry CaCO3 Tolerance:
Medium Soil Description:
Rocky or gravelly soils. Caliche type, Limestone-based, Sandy, Sandy Loam, Medium Loam, Clay Loam
Clay Conditions Comments:
Better color and less aggressive than annual
broomweeds. Responds well to poor, dry soils. Generally considered a weed
and indicator of poor management in range areas.
Rock gardens, Showy, Perennial
garden Use Wildlife:
It is generally shunned by wildlife. Nectar-insects, Nectar-Bees, Nectar-Butterflies, Cover, Seeds-Granivorous birds. This plant is a poor grazing fodder, and the new spring growth may be toxic to animals. Since it tends to increase with overgrazing, its abundance often indicates overused rangeland. (Niering) Conspicuous Flowers:
Propagate by seed or cuttings. Woody stem
tip cuttings should be placed in vermiculite or sand under intermittent mist. Seed Collection:
Not Available Seed Treatment:
No pretreatment is necessary.
Herbarium Specimen(s)NPSOT 0040
Collected Oct. 7, 1990 in Bexar County by Judith C. Berry
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Record Modified: 2009-11-23
Research By: TWC Staff