Bebbia juncea, Sweetbush Bebbia
Scientific Name: Bebbia juncea
Common Name: Sweetbush Bebbia
Also Called: Sweetbush, Bebbia, Chuckwalla’s Delight
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Carphephorus junceus)
Size: Up to 3 or 4 or so.
Growth Form: Shrub, subshrub; strongly scented; plants short-lived; intricately branched from thick woody root-crown; slender brittle branches; stems erect or spreading, plants mostly glabrous.
Leaves: Grayish-green; few leaves to leafless; lower leaves opposite; upper leaves alternate, sessile or petioled; linear or filiform; deciduous without rainfall; naked plants look reed-like; leaves sometimes gland-dotted.
Flower Color: Yellow or orange-yellow; discoid florets; solitary or in open rounded cyme-like clusters; slender peduncle; terminal flowers; phyllaries ovate to lance-linear, minutely villous; fruit an achene with a pappus of about 20 plumose bristle-like awns.
Flowering Season: April to July may flower throughout the year.
Elevation: Up to 4,000 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Dry slopes and washes, rocky hillsides, sandy gravelly areas such as desert washes, canyons, scrub habitats.
Recorded Range: Sweetbush is found in the southwestern United States; AZ, CA, NM, NV, TX, UT. It is also native throughout Baja California and northwest Mexico. The largest concentrations of this species are found throughout most of Arizona and southeast California and southeast Nevada.
North America & US County Distribution Map for Bebbia juncea.
U.S. Weed Information: No data available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available.
Wetland Indicator: No data available.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No data available.
In the southwestern United States there is 1 species of Bebbia. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.
There are 2 variety in Bebbia juncea, one in the United States;
Bebbia juncea var. aspera, Sweetbush, (AZ, CA, NM, NV, TX, UT);
Bebbia juncea var. juncea, Sweetbush (Baja California, Baja California Sur).
Comments: Sweetbush Bebbia is a scraggly weedy looking aromatic desert shrub often ignored by casual observers and wildflower enthusiasts alike. However the plants are a haven for butterflies and moths and, upon closer inspection, one notices that the yellow and orange tubular flowers are quite striking especially under a 10 power lens.
Chuckwallas are known to relish Sweetbush Bebbia along with many other yellow flowered desert plant species.
Long-horn Bees of the Eucerini tribe are important pollinators of several crops and wildflowers. Long-horn Bees specialize on the Asteraceae Family especially asters, daisies and sunflowers (Cosmos, Scabiosa, Coreopsis and Bidens). They are also important commercial watermelon crop pollinators in California.
The specific epithet "juncea" is derived from the Greek word "juncea" meaning "rush-like", a reference to the leaf-less stems apparently looking like rush plants of the genus Juncus, a riparian plant that grows in or around water.