Baccharis halimifolia L. - Groundsel Tree

Baccharis halimifolia plant

Family - Asteraceae

Stems:

Baccharis halimifolia twigTwig.

Baccharis halimifolia stemBark of mature plant.

Leaves:

Baccharis halimifolia leaves

Inflorescence:

N/A

Involucre:

Baccharis halimifolia involucreInvolucre of staminate flowers.

Ray flowers:

Absent.

Disk flowers:

Baccharis halimifolia pistillate flowersPistillate flowers.

Baccharis halimifolia staminate flowersStaminate flowers.

Flowering - August - October.

Habitat - Old fields, fence rows, woodlands, waste ground, marshes.

Origin - Native to North America.

Other information - This weedy shrub can be found mainly in the southern half of Alabama. The plant can be identified even at quite a distance because of the large whitish pappus of the pistillate flowers which create a cottony look to the plant. Plants are dioeceous meaning that male and female flowers are created on different plants. The staminate plants are smaller and much less noticeable than the pistillate plants.
Another species, B. glomeruliflora Persoon, is similar but the flowerheads are sessile, rather than pedunculate. This later species is rare in Alabama.
The genus name Baccharus was the name of another shrubby plant (spelled Baccharis) which was given in honor of the the Greek and Roman god of wine and revelry - Bacchus. The name was later transferred to the present genus.
The species epithet halimifolia means "leaves of Halimus."

Alabama Distribution:

Baccharis halimifolia map

Photographs taken near Andalusia, AL., 10-24-04.


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