Chrysothamnus / Rabbitbrush

Genus: Chrysothamnus

Common Name: Rabbitbrush


Chrysothamnus (rabbitbrush) is native to western North America. It grows in desert and semi-desert areas, typically along with sagebrush plant communities. It is also found in pinyon-juniper woodlands. Rabbitbrush produces abundant yellow flowers in late summer through fall, providing forage for many butterfly and bee species. The bright golden glow of flowers atop this late-flowering shrub, gave rise to the Latin name 'Chryso' 'thamnus,' meaning 'golden' 'bush.' 


Native Regions

The western half of the United States, and extending north into British Columbia



Rabbitbrush occurs naturally in desert to semi-desert habitats in western rangelands and is often found growing together with sagebrush. Yellow rabbitbrush (Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus) is the most commonly available species. It is adapted to coarse to medium well-drained soils.





Bloom Time

Late summer, early fall


Average Height

3 feet


Flower Color




Full sun


Water Requirements

Average to dry


Recommended Species

Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus (yellow rabbitbrush, green rabbitbrush or sticky-leaf rabbitbrush) is the most widespread and commercially available species. It is a low to moderate shrub, growing to a maximum height of about 3 feet. In the wild, it is found at middle to high elevations (2,600 to 11,000 feet). In addition to attracting many native bees, yellow rabbitbrush provides late summer forage for numerous butterflies, including bordered patch butterflies (Chlosyne lacinia), Mormon metalmark (Apodemia mormo), mourning cloak (Nymphalis antiopa), common checkered skipper (Pyrgus communis) and Weidemeyer’s admiral (Limenitis weidemeyerii). It also offers important cover and nesting habitat for various small birds.

bee Visitors

Andrena / Mining Bee

Anthophora / Digger Bee

Bombus / Bumble Bee

Centris / Digger Bee

Coelioxys / Cuckoo Bee

Colletes / Polyester Bee

Halictus / Sweat Bee

Hylaeus / Yellow Faced Bee

Lasioglossum / Sweat Bee

Megachile / Leafcutter Bee

Melissodes / Long-horned Bee

Svastra / Sunflower Bee

Triepeolus / Cuckoo Bee

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