Baccharis salicifolia, Seepwillow
Scientific Name: Baccharis salicifolia
Common Name: Seepwillow
Also Called: Mule-fat, Mule's Fat, Seep Willow, Seep-willow, Seepwillow Baccharis and Water Wally (Spanish: Batamote, Jarilla, Hierba del Pasmo, Jarillla).
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Baccharis glutinosa, Baccharis viminea, Molina salicifolia)
Size: Up to 10 feet or more.
Growth Form: Shrub or tree; mostly glabrous, erect, one main stem, shorter branches ascending from base, new stems green turning grayish or brownish with age; suckering roots form thickets.
Leaves: Green; shiny, alternate, linear or elliptic, sessile or petiolate, entire or sharply toothed, 3 to 6 inches long, resinous, sticky.
Flower Color: Creamy white flowers tinged with pink or red; fuzzy, flower head clusters on terminal tips of branches; disk heads only, flower heads in open panicle. Seeds are white, soft and feathery bristles, dandelion-like, ideal for wind dispersal, seed is an achene.
Flowering Season: March to December.
Elevation: Up to 5,500 feet.
Habitat Preferences: In moist, riparian and other wetlands, lower and upper deserts and chaparral along streams, springs, ditches, not always found with permanent water.
Recorded Range: In the United States it is native to the states of AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, TX and UT. It is also found throughout Baja California, Mexico and parts of South America. Throughout most of Arizona in preferred habitat, absent in northeast corner of the state.
North America & US County Distribution Map for Baccharis salicifolia.
U.S. Weed Information: No data available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available.
Wetland Indicator: In North America Baccharis salicifolia has the following wetland designations: Arid West, FACW; Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast, OBL.
FACW = Facultative Wetland, usually occur in wetlands, but may occur in non-wetlands
OBL = Obligate Wetland, almost always occur in wetlands
Threatened/Endangered Information: No data available.
Genus Information: In North America there are 24 species and 26 accepted taxa overall for Baccharis. World wide, The Plant List includes 430 accepted species names and includes a further 409 infraspecific rank for the genus.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona and California each have 10 species of Baccharis, Nevada has 5 species, New Mexico has 13 species, Texas has 12 species, Utah has 5 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.
Comments: Mule Fat or Seepwillow is a common, mostly riparian species forming thickets along permanent water. Individual smaller numbers of plants may be encountered in dry washes after loss of surface water. Although this shrub resembles a true willow tree and is often found in the same habitat types, it is not a member of the Salicaceae or willow family.
Seepwillow has been used for several medicinal aids and other purposes by southwestern United States indigenous peoples.