Seed of the Week: Brittlebush

Our mystery seeds from last week were from brittlebush, Encelia farinosa.

Brittlebush is a common plant, native to the southwestern United States.

It has silvery green leaves and is covered with bright yellow flowers in the spring. It can reach five feet tall and forms a rounded mound. It is a perennial.

The “flowers” are actually daisy-like composites.

The intense yellow flowers produce clusters of seeds.

The brittlebush seeds in the photographs last week were not quite mature. Notice the mature seeds above are darker and filled out more. They still have the intriguing fringe, though.

Brittlebush grow readily from seeds.

Brittlebush flowers are visited by many insects, for example see these previous posts:  the elegant blister beetle on a brittlebush flower and another bee on brittlebush leaf.

In the past humans have used brittlebush resins as a form of chewing gum and for burning as incense.

Isn’t it a beautiful and interesting plant?

Have you ever seen brittlebush in bloom?


  1. Heather

    My kiddos love finding brittle bush while hiking. We endearingly call it chuckwalla chow as it is a favorite of that animal.

  2. Roberta

    Chuckwalla chow is a great name!

  3. eric krekler

    do seed need a treatment for better germination?

  4. Roberta

    Ours germinate spontaneously in the yard, so I doubt it.

  5. Falecia

    Do I only need one seed per bush when planting from seed?

  6. Roberta

    Yes, each seed will become a plant.

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