Carnegiea gigantea, Giant Saguaro

Southwest Desert Flora

Home to the plants of the Sonoran, Chihuahuan and Mojave Deserts

Cirsium ochrocentrum, Yellowspine Thistle

Brickellia californica, California Brickellbush

Brickellia californica, California Brickellbush, Southwest Desert Flora Brickellia californica, California Brickellbush, Southwest Desert Flora Brickellia californica, California Brickellbush, Southwest Desert Flora

Scientific Name: Brickellia californica
Common Name: California Brickellbush
Also Called: Brickell-bush, Jepson's Brickellbush, False Boneset and Pachaba (Spanish: Hierba [Yerba] de la Vaca, Prodigiosa)
Family: Asteraceae, Sunflower Family
Synonyms: (Bulbostylis californica, Brickellia californica var. californica, Brickellia californica var. jepsonii)
Status: Native
Duration: Perennial
Size: Up to 6 feet or more.
Growth Form: Subshrub, shrub; erect, thickly branched from base.
Leaves: Green; alternate, soft fuzzy hair or smooth, cordate, deltoid or ovate; 3 nerves from short petiole; margins toothed.
Flower Color: Pale yellow-green; white to pink; disk flowers only, 8 to 12 florets; cylindrical flower heads in small clusters on tips of slim branches, collectively in the shape of a panicle; bracts or phyllaries purplish-green; imbricate; fruit an achene with fine white bristles.
Flowering Season: July to November.
Elevation: 3,000 to 7,500 feet.
Habitat Preferences: Various habitats, upper deserts, chaparral, pinyon-juniper and pine forest, dry rocky hillsides, canyons, dry creeks and streambeds.
Recorded Range: Native to the southwest and northwestern United States in AZ, CA, CO, ID, NM, NV, OK, OR, TX and UT. Also found in Baja California and northern Mexico. Found throughout Arizona.

U.S. Weed Information: No data available.
Invasive/Noxious Weed Information: No data available.
Wetland Indicator: Brickellia californica is on the USDA 2012 National Wetland Plant List.
Threatened/Endangered Information: No data available.

Genus Information: 36 species in Brickellia throughout the United States west of Pennsylvania, Alberta and British Columbia, Canada. 22 species in Brickellia in Arizona throughout the state; 2 varieties in Brickellia californica: Brickellia californica var. californica, California Brickellbush, found in Arizona and at the locations listed above and Brickellia californica var. jepsonii, Jepson's Brickellbush, which is restricted to California.

Comments: California Brickellbush is a common species throughout its preferred habitat which in Arizona is above 3,000 feet. Two varieties have been described for this species. The most common variety "californica" is found throughout the localities listed above, the variety "jepsonii" is limited to small geographic areas in north central California.

In Southwest Desert Plants also see; Coulter's Brickellbush, Brickellia coulteri, Chihuahuan Brickellbush, Brickellia floribunda and Veiny Brickellbush, Brickellia venosa.

The genus Brickellia is large according to the Flora of North America, with more than 100 species in North America, Mexico, and Central America. Because of its large number of species, the genus has several reference names including Brickellbush, Brickelbush and Brickellia. The genus is named for naturalist John Brickell (1748 – 1809).

This plant was used by the Navajos as a lotion on infant sores caused by prenatal infection and the Navajos also used an infusion of its leaves as a lotion for cough or fever. Other ethno botanical uses have been described for California Brickellbush; view the complete species account from Native American Ethnobotany, University of Michigan, Dearborn.

Date Profile Completed: 07/12/2012, rev. 08/14/2012; Updated, 07/25/2015
U.S. Dept. of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service on-line database
Arizona Flora, Kearney, Thomas H., Peebles, Robert H., 1960, University of California Press, Berkley and Los Angeles
The Jepson Manual, Citation: Tue Aug 14 18:33:44 2012
Randall W. Scott, FNA | Family List | FNA Vol. 21 | Asteraceae | Brickellia, Flora of North America Editorial Committee, eds. 1993+. Flora of North America North of Mexico. 16+ vols. New York and Oxford. (accessed 07/12/2012, 08/14/2012)
SEINet for synonyms, scientific names and recorded geographic locations,