Baccharis salicifolia (Ruiz & Pav.) Pers.
Mule's Fat, Seep Willow
Asteraceae (Aster Family)
Synonym(s): Baccharis glutinosa, Baccharis viminea, Molina salicifolia
USDA Symbol: BASA4
A willow-like, thicket-forming shrub, 3-12 ft. tall, with rich-green, semi-deciduous foliage. Whitish-yellow flowers occur in numerous, terminal, flat-topped clusters.
Despite its common name, this shrubby plant is not a willow, but rather a member of the aster family. The Latin name "salicifolia" means "willow-leaved."
From the Image Gallery
Plant CharacteristicsDuration: Perennial
Leaf Retention: Evergreen
Size Notes: Up to about 12 feet tall, often shorter.
Fruit: Fruit is a cypsela (pl. cypselae). Though technically incorrect, the fruit is often referred to as an achene.
Bloom InformationBloom Color: White , Pink , Yellow
Bloom Time: Jan , Feb , Mar , Apr , May , Jun , Jul , Aug , Sep , Oct , Nov , Dec
DistributionUSA: AZ , CA , CO , NM , NV , TX , UT
Native Distribution: C. & s. CA to s. CO, TX & Mex.
Native Habitat: Valley & foothill waterways to 2000 ft.
Growing ConditionsWater Use: Medium
Light Requirement: Sun , Part Shade
Soil Moisture: Moist
CaCO3 Tolerance: High
Soil Description: Moist soils.
Conditions Comments: Not Available
BenefitUse Ornamental: Nice informal hedge.
Use Wildlife: Good habitat plant.
Conspicuous Flowers: yes
Value to Beneficial InsectsSpecial Value to Native Bees
This information was provided by the Pollinator Program at The Xerces Society for Invertebrate Conservation.
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: 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
Find Seed or Plants
Find seed sources for this species at the Native Seed Network.
National Wetland Indicator Status
From the National Organizations DirectoryAccording to the species list provided by Affiliate Organizations, this plant is on display at the following locations:
Native Seed Network - Corvallis, OR
BibliographyBibref 841 - Native Alternatives to Invasive Plants (2006) Burrell, C. C.
Search More Titles in Bibliography
Web ReferenceWebref 37 - Calscape (2019) California Native Plant Society
Webref 38 - Flora of North America - beta site (2019) Missouri Botanical Garden, St. Louis, MO & Harvard University Herbaria, Cambridge, MA.
Additional resourcesUSDA: Find Baccharis salicifolia in USDA Plants
FNA: Find Baccharis salicifolia in the Flora of North America (if available)
Google: Search Google for Baccharis salicifolia
MetadataRecord Modified: 2022-10-12
Research By: TWC Staff