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Desert Baccharis
Water Weed

Baccharis sergiloides

Photo © by Michael Plagens

With adequate summer thunderstorms Desert Bacharis blooms profusely attracting many insects. Observed along Camp Creek, n.e. Maricopa Co., Arizona, USA. August 2008.

A few common insects:

Seed Bug  Snout Butterfly  Digger Wasp

SHRUB: Intricately branched shrub with resinous green stems typically 1 to 2 m tall.

FLOWERS: Numerous small heads of whitish-green flowers arranged in an open, branched panicle. Each small head is furthermore divided into a dozen or more very small florets. Blooming late summer. Dioecious, i.e. male and female flowers appear on separate shrubs.

LEAVES: Elyptic leaves are narrower than Seep-Willow and wider than Desert Broom. Often leaves yellow and are shed leaving the stems to conduct photosynthesis.

FRUIT: Small seeds on female shrubs with a crown of white bristles. Easily dispersed by wind.

RANGE: Most common along northern and northwestern portions of the Sonoran Desert of Arizona ranging into the Mojave Desert of Californai and Nevada. Usually grows in gravelly washes that get a pretty good supply of water but do not experience scouring flash floods.


These green bushes are often obscure except in late summer when the blooms attract 100's of insects such as wasps, beetles, butterflies and flower-loving flies.

Asteraceae -- Sunflower Family

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2009