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Baccharis pilularis (Coyotebrush)
Wasowski, Sally and Andy

Baccharis pilularis

Baccharis pilularis DC.

Coyotebrush, Chaparral Broom, Coyote Bush

Asteraceae (Aster Family)

Synonym(s): Baccharis pilularis ssp. consanguinea, Baccharis pilularis var. consanguinea


USDA Native Status: L48 (N)

A leafy, much-branched, erect or rounded shrub, 4-8 ft., or more, high and wide. Leaves are oval to rounded and shiny, bright green. Axillary and terminal flower clusters are numerous, made up of small, whitish-yellow flowers. Coyotebrush is perhaps the most common and widespread shrub in coastal brush communities in northern and central California, becoming gradually less common southward. The genus name Baccharis refers to the Roman god Bacchus, a god of vegetation and of wine; pilularis, meaning “pill-shaped,” refers to the round, flat flower heads.


From the Image Gallery

2 photo(s) available in the Image Gallery

Plant Characteristics

Duration: Perennial
Habit: Shrub
Leaf Retention: Evergreen , Semi-evergreen
Leaf Arrangement: Alternate
Leaf Complexity: Simple
Leaf Shape: Obovate
Leaf Pubescence: Glabrous
Breeding System: Flowers Unisexual , Dioecious
Inflorescence: Axillary , Terminal
Size Notes: Up to about 14 feet tall, often much shorter.
Leaf: Green
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.

Bloom Information

Bloom Color: White , Yellow
Bloom Time: Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct
Bloom Notes: Male flowers yellow, female flowers white.


Native Distribution: Coastal areas from Baja California and s. CA north to Tillamook Co., OR, with inland populations in New Mexico and Chihuahua
Native Habitat: Wooded or scrubby, coastal hillsides & canyons below 2000 ft.

Growing Conditions

Water Use: Low
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Dry
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Drought Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Dry sandy soils.
Conditions Comments: Seems to be deer proof. Drought-tolerant. Very fast growing; can mature in 1-2 years. The typical B. pilularis is a prostrate or decumbent shrub to 1 ft. tall, occurring farther s. in CA.


Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Interesting Foliage: yes

Value to Beneficial Insects

Special Value to Native Bees
Supports Conservation Biological Control

This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.


Propagation Material: Seeds , Softwood Cuttings
Description: 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: Collect ripe fruits by hand. Fruits can be rubbed to remove the pappus. Seeds are tiny. Keep seeds moist.
Seed Treatment: No pretreatment is necessary.
Commercially Avail: yes
Maintenance: Thin as needed.

Find Seed or Plants

Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.

View propagation protocol from Native Plants Network.

From the National Organizations Directory

According to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden - Santa Barbara, CA
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR


Bibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Bibref 995 - Native Landscaping from El Paso to L.A. (2000) Wasowski, S. and A. Wasowski

Search More Titles in Bibliography

Web Reference

Webref 38 - Flora of North America (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.

Additional resources

USDA: Find Baccharis pilularis in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Baccharis pilularis in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Baccharis pilularis


Record Modified: 2022-10-12
Research By: TWC Staff

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