Chrysothamnus / Rabbitbrush
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.'
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.
Late summer, early fall
Average to dry
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.