Coyote brush Facts

Coyote brush Facts
Coyote brush is an evergreen shrub that belongs to the aster family. There are three subspecies of coyote brush that can be found in California, Oregon, Baja California and New Mexico. Coyote brush grows on sandy, slightly acidic, well-drained soil. It thrives on the steep coastlines, grasslands, woodlands, canyons and hillsides. Coyote brush quickly occupies areas degraded by intense grazing and fire. People cultivate coyote brush in ornamental purposes.
Interesting Coyote brush Facts:
Coyote brush has smooth, sticky stem that can reach 4 to 8 feet in height and roughly the same in width. Some plants are low-growing (they have prostrate stem and spreading branches).
Shape of coyote brush depends on the habitat. It grows as low shrub in windy areas, exposed to moist, salty air, such as sand dunes and ridges. In well protected areas, such as grasslands and woodland, coyote brush grows as erect, roundish shrub.
Coyote brush has large, strong and wide root system which facilitates survival in dry, arid areas. Root is designed to facilitate absorption of water after the rain.
Coyote brush has elongated, egg-shaped leaves with three prominent veins. Leaves have smooth or toothed edges and pointed tips. They are grayish-green colored and alternately arranged on the branches.
Coyote brush has thick leaves covered with wax on the surface to prevent loss of water via transpiration. Leaves contain chemicals which ensure protection against fire. Sticky, oily substance on the leaves protect them from hungry herbivores during the hot summers.
Coyote brush is dioecious plant, which means that each shrub produces either male or female flowers arranged in leafy panicles (multi-branched inflorescence). Male plants produce short, flattish yellow flower heads composed of 20 to 30 flowers that emit shaving soap-like smell. Female plants produce elongated whitish-green flower heads composed of 14 to 39 flowers.
Coyote brush blooms from August to December. Flowers are rich source of nectar which attracts bees, predatory wasps, small butterflies and flies, main pollinators of this plant.
Fruit of coyote brush is tan or light brown, tiny, seed-like achene equipped with tuft of white hairs which facilitate spreading by wind.
Coyote brush propagates via seed and softwood cuttings.
Scientific name of coyote brush is "Baccharis". Name originates from the Greek word "bakkari", which was used to describe plants with fragrant root.
Coyote brush is cultivated in habitat restoration projects because it facilitates growth and establishment of coastal sage species.
Coyote brush is often cultivated in ornamental purposes in the form of hedges and ground cover (dwarf varieties).
Native Americans used leaves of coyote brush to reduce swelling.
Native Americans used wood of coyote brush for the manufacture of arrows and houses.
Coyote brush is perennial plant, which means that it can survive more than 2 years in the wild.

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