Brickellia californica, California Brickellbush
Scientific Name: Brickellia californica
Common Name: California Brickellbush
Also Called: Brickell-bush, Jepson's Brickellbush, False Boneset, Pachaba (Spanish: Hierba (Yerba) de la Vaca, Prodigiosa)
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Bulbostylis californica, Brickellia californica var. californica, Brickellia californica var. jepsonii)
Size: 2 feet or more (6').
Growth Form: Shrub or subshrub; erect, thickly branched from base; glandular-pubescent.
Leaves: Green; alternate or proximal opposite; ovate to deltate; margins crenate to serrate, leaf bases cordate to truncate; leaf surfaces puberulent to becoming glabrous; often gland-dotted; leaves with 3 noticeable veins; short petioles.
Flower Color: Pale yellow-green with white to pink; disk flowers only, 8 to 12 (18) florets; cylindrical flower heads in leafy small clusters on tips of slim branches, collectively in the shape of a panicle; peduncles up to almost 2 inches; glandular-pubescent; involucre cylindric to obconic; phyllaries purplish-green, 3 to 4 striate; ovate to lance-ovate; fruit a puberulent achene with fine white pappus bristles.
Flowering Season: July to November or December.
Elevation: 3,000 to 7,500 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Various habitats, dry rocky hillsides, canyons, dry creeks, streambeds, sea bluffs; upper deserts, chaparral, pinyon-juniper and pine forest.
Recorded Range: Brickellia california is native to the southwest and northwestern United States in AZ, CA, CO, ID, NM, NV, OK, TX, UT, WA. It is also native to Baja California and northern Mexico. It is common throughout its large geographic range.
North America & US County Distribution Map for Brickellia californica.
U.S. Weed Information: No data available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available.
Wetland Indicator: In North America Brickellia californica has the following wetland designations: Arid West, FACU; Great Plains, FACU; Western Mountains, Valleys, and Coast FACU.
FACU = Facultative Upland, usually occur in non-wetlands, but may occur in wetlands
Threatened/Endangered Information: No data available.
Genus Information: In North America there are 36 species and 36 accepted taxa overall for Brickellia. World wide, The Plant List includes 112 accepted species names and includes a further 136 of infraspecific rank for the genus.
In the Southwestern United States: Arizona has 22 species of Brickellia, California has 13 species, Nevada has 12 species, New Mexico has 19 species, Texas has 16 species, Utah has 7 species. All data is approximate and subject to taxonomic changes.
There are 2 varieties in Brickellia californica:
Brickellia californica var. californica, California Brickellbush; (AZ, CA, CO, ID, NM, NV, OK, TX, UT, WA);
Brickellia californica var. jepsonii, Jepson's Brickellbush; (California).
Comments: California Brickellbush is a common species throughout its large geographic range. It is pleasantly fragrant and commercially cultivated and used in California as a landscape species for native plants. According to Arizona Flora "It is called Pachaba by the Hopi Indians who are reported to rub it on the head for headache". See full Ethnobotany below.
The species epithet californica is used because the plant is of or from the state of California.
See complete listing of ethno-botanical uses at Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.